In Flanders FieldsIn Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
John McCrae - 1918
With All who diedWe cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a luster to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.
And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.
She was a U.S. professor and humanitarian who conceived
the idea of using poppies as a symbol of remembrance
for those who served in World War I. Known as the "Poppy
Lady" for her humanitarian efforts, Michael received
numerous awards during her lifetime.
© Source: Wikipedia.
The bells of MalinesThe gabled roofs of old Malines
Are russet red and gray and green,
And o'r them in the sunset hour
Looms, dark and huge, St. Rombold's tower.
High in that rugged nest concealed,
The sweetest bells that ever pealed,
The deepest bells that ever rung,
The lightest bells that ever sung,
Are waiting for the master's hand
To fling their music o'r the land.
And shall they ring to-night, Malines ?
In nineteen hundred and fourteen,
The frightful year, the year of woe,
When fire and blood and rapine flow
Across the land from lost Liege,
Storm-driven by the German rage ?
The other carillons have ceased:
Fallen is Hasselt, fallen Diest,
From Ghent and Bruges no voices come,
Antwerp is silent, Brussels dumb !
But in thy belfry, O Malines,
The master of the bells unseen
Has climbed to where the keyboard stands,
To-night his heart is in his hands !
Once more, before invasion's hell
Breaks round the tower he loves so well,
Once more he strikes the well-worn keys,
And sends aerial harmonies
Far-floating through the twilight dim
In patriot song and holy hymn.
O listen, burghers of Malines !
Soldier and workman, pale beguine,
And mother with a trembling flock
Of children clinging to thy frock,--
Look up and listen, listen all !
What tunes are these that gently fall
Around you like a benison ?
"The Flemish Lion", "Brabançonne",
"O brave Liège", and all the airs
That Belgium in her bosom bears.
Ring up, ye silvery octaves high,
Whose notes like circling swallows fly,
And ring, each old sonorous bell,--
"Jesu", "Maria", "Michael!"
Weave in and out, and high and low,
The magic music that you know,
And let it float and flutter down
To cheer the heart of the troubled town.
Ring out, "Salvator", lord of all,--
"Roland" in Ghent may hear thee call !
O brave bell-music of Malines,
In this dark hour how much you mean !
The dreadful night of blood and tears
Sweeps down on Belgium, but she hears
Deep in her heart the melody
Of songs she learned when she was free.
She will not falter, faint, nor fail,
But fight until her rights prevail
And all her ancient belfries ring
"The Flemish Lion", "God Save the King!"
August 17, 1914.
Henry van Dyke
From "The Red Flower", Poems written in war time (1917).
Publisher: C. Scribner's Sons, New York.
Prayer of a Soldier in FranceMy shoulders ache beneath my pack
(Lie easier, Cross, upon His back).
I march with feet that burn and smart
(Tread, Holy Feet, upon my heart).
Men shout at me who may not speak
(They scourged Thy back and smote Thy cheek).
I may not lift a hand to clear
My eyes of salty drops that sear.
Then shall my fickle soul forget
(Thy Agony of Bloody Sweat?).
My rifle hand is stiff and numb
(From Thy pierced palm red rivers come).
Lord, Thou didst suffer more for me
(Than all the hosts of land and sea).
So let me render back again
(This millionth of Thy gift. Amen).
Joyce Kilmer - 1918
Dulce et Decorum Est
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind. Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling, And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime... Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori.
Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936)
Carl Sandburg (1878–1967)