For the Fallen
by Lawrence Binyon, (1869-1943)
  • He served at the Front as a Red Cross orderly in 1916.
  • He became Professor of Poetry at Harvard University in later life.
  • Written in June 1914, published on September 21, 1914

  • 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 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.
  • Click to return to our Poets' corner
  • 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.