Memorial Day 2007 (2)—In Flanders Fields

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

–Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

In thanksgiving for all those who gave their lives for this country in years past, and for those who continue to serve–KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed Forces* General InterestNotable & Quotable

Posted May 28, 2007 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Shirley wrote:

Beautiful poem that I had to memorize in elementary school more than 60 years ago.

see here

May 28, 11:09 am | [comment link]
2. No Martyr wrote:

Another slant, from another great poet:

Thomas Hardy : Channel Firing
That night your great guns, unawares,
Shook all our coffins as we lay,
And broke the chancel window-squares,
We thought it was the Judgment-day

And sat upright. While drearisome
Arose the howl of wakened hounds:
The mouse let fall the altar-crumb,
The worms drew back into the mounds,

The glebe cow drooled. Till God called, “No;
It’s gunnery practise out at sea
Just as before you went below;
The world is as it used to be:

“And all nations striving strong to make
Red war yet redder. Mad as hatters
They do no more for Christés sake
Than you who are helpless in such matters.

“That this is not the judgement-hour
For some of them’s a blessed thing,
For if it were they’d have to scour
Hell’s floor for so much threatening. . . .

“Ha, ha. It will be warmer when
I blow the trumpet (if indeed
I ever do; for you are men,
And rest eternal sorely need).”

So down we lay again. “I wonder,
Will the world ever saner be,”
Said one, ‘than when He sent us under
In our indifferent century!”

And many a skeleton shook his head.
“Instead of preaching forty year,”
My neighbour Parson Thirdly said,
“I wish I had stuck to pipes and beer.”

Again the guns disturbed the hour,
Roaring their readiness to avenge,
As far inland as Stourton Tower,
And Camelot, and starlit Stonehenge.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)1914

May 28, 2:45 pm | [comment link]
3. Robert Atkins wrote:

Kendall: Thank you for sharing this poem again.  As was pointed out last year here, it brings to mind Binyon’s “For the Fallen”, a single verse of which I’ll requote:

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.

May 29, 3:20 am | [comment link]
4. Courageous Grace wrote:

Many years ago when I was in high school, my choir sang a lovely and touching rendition of “In Flanders Fields”.  I believe it was an a cappella piece.  I can still remember bits and pieces of the melody, and wish I could hear it again.  I cried every time I sang it.

May 29, 11:40 am | [comment link]
5. Courageous Grace wrote:

The piece we sang was similar to this.

Of course, I remember it being sung a bit slower and with more emotion.  Or perhaps that’s just wishful thinking. wink

May 29, 11:50 am | [comment link]
6. Shirley wrote:

#5,  That is sooo pretty.  Thanks.

May 29, 12:22 pm | [comment link]
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