Remembrance Day

In Flanders Fields

by Dr. John McCrae

In 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.


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A Soldier - His Prayer

As the story goes, this anonymous poem was blown into a slit trench in Tunisia during a heavy bombardment in the early days of World War II. Who its author is, or was, cannot be determined, but it is certain that he had a gift for poetry which he used to express his great faith and sense of hope.

Stay with me God. The night is dark
The night is cold: My little spark
Of courage dies. The night is long;
Be with me God, and make me strong

I love the game; I love a fight.
I hate the dark; I love the light.
I love my child; I love my wife.
I am no coward. I love life.

Life with its change of mood and shade.
I want to live. I'm not afraid,
But me and mine are hard to part;
Oh unknown God, lift up my heart.

You stilled the water at Dunkirk
And saved your servants.
All your work is wonderful, dear God. You strode
Before us down that dreadful road.

We were alone, and hope had fled;
We loved our country, and our dead.
And could not shame them; so we stayed
The course, and were not much afraid.

Dear God, that nightmare road! And then
That sea! We got there - we were men.
My eyes were blind, my feet were torn,
My soul sang like a bird at dawn!

I knew that death is just a door.
I knew what we were fighting for:
Peace for the kids, our brothers freed,
A kinder world, a cleaner breed.

I'm but the son my mother bore,
A simple man and nothing more.
But - God of strength and gentleness,
Be pleased to make me nothing less.

Help me, O God, when death is near
To mock the haggard face of fear,
That when I fall-If fall I must-
My soul may triumph in the dust.

2 comments:

  1. Have a listen to the Remembrance podcast on iTunes or on the Royal British Legion blog. It's a good way to remember.

     
  2. Thanks for the links!