Armistice Day

It was a strange Remembrance Sunday due to Lockdown this year. I usually take part in a Remembrance Sunday service at church playing the organ but this time I was sat at home watching a service online.

Today I have chosen a poem for Armistice Day by Wilfred Owen.

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' raid 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 my 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

Remembrance Sunday

This Sunday when we think of all those people who made the ultimate sacrifice and we wear our poppies with pride, I will read the poems written by Wilfred Owen and reflect. Here is one for us all to share.

Dolce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,

Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs

And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots

But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;

Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots

Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

 

 

Gas! GAS! Quick boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling

And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…

Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,

As under green sea, I saw him drowning.

 

 

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

 

 

If some smothering dreams you too could pace

Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,-

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old Lie: Dulce et decorum best

Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen

 

We will remember them.

Lady Book Dragon.