For The Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain
Binyon's best-known war poem, the fourth stanza is often read before The Last Post on Remembrance Sunday (and always makes me cry). Seems somewhat apt today, no?
Sixty Seconds of Silence
Hold your tongue
Speak not ill of the dead
Find your own silence inside
Seeking only the truth
That boys in their prime perished that night
And the very heart of this city stopped beating
Scattered across a foreign field of powder white snow
News hissed through
Like the gas on a cooker whose flame had blown out
Freckled faced paperboys on Peter St and Piccadilly
Cried louder than they had ever cried before
Sons were lost
Mother's sisters and wives deep sighed
Dads and brother died inside
And red and blue stood side by side by side
Because silence is so much louder than applause
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