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For the Fallen
Laurence Binyon


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.

This poem is in the public domain.



Laurence Binyon (1869 - 1943) was a British poet , author, playwright, and art critic. The son of a Quaker minister, he worked for many years at the British Museum before becoming a university professor late in life. An expert in Oriental art, Laurence published numerous books, ranging from a biography of Botticelli and many scholarly works art to collections of his award-winning poetry. Too old to serve as a soldier during World War I, he served instead as a hospital volunteer. He is best remember for his poem, "For the Fallen," an excerpt of which is often used in memorial services and engraved on war memorials.



Post New Comment:
Marvellous Read here every Armistice Day. As has been said - it is universal. Very beautiful
Posted 05/30/2016 11:10 AM
Kathleen Carlson:
What a loving, moving tribute to all who died for freedom.
Posted 05/30/2016 10:50 AM
A very heart wrenching poem to the fallen service men and women who have died for our country and freedom. And, as in Vietnam, for nothing at all. Kay Armstrong Baker
Posted 05/30/2016 09:42 AM
Posted 05/30/2016 08:51 AM
agree with Newf!
Posted 05/30/2016 07:52 AM
Sad, but wonderfully written. A necessary reminder of all the people who have died for our freedom and are dying still.
Posted 05/30/2016 05:59 AM

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