Thursday, 11 November 2010

Remembrance Day


What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, -
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing down of blinds.

Wilfred Owen 1893-1918

Wilfred Owen was a British poet and soldier of the First World War.  He was killed in action in the Battle of the Sambre a week before the cessation of fighting.  The War Office telegram was delivered to his mother as the her town's church bells were ringing in celebration of the Armistice when the war ended.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning.  We will remember them.