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Posts Tagged ‘Charles Sorley’

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The guns of war shot, from the sky,
The brave young songbirds flying by
Who looked down from their Homeric height
And sang their songs in war’s dark night.
A Seeger and a Sorely fell,
An Owen, – Rosenberg as well,
As did a Grenfell, Thomas, West –
And most were young, not far from nest.
Raw Rupert Brooke, too, went away,
As did the Flander’s John McCrae.

They named their killer, named him well,
That War was instrument of hell.
Those poets who, as soldiers served,
Looked up from mud and blood, observed
That War, to men in trenches (graves)
Had rhyme, not reason, for its slaves.
They saw, then paid, the great expense
And knew flung armies made no sense –
Just like poor Owen died a week
Before armistice showed its cheek.
And while his parents heard of this,
The bells were tolling peace and bliss.

The guns of war shot, from the sky,
The brave young songbirds flying by.
And though their brief flight ended there,
Their sweet sad songs still fill the air.

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The war poets named within my poem, with cause of death and a link to one of their poems:

Rupert Brooke died during the war of blood poisoning.
The Soldier – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/the-soldier-by-rupert-brooke/

John McCrae died of pneumonia.
In Flanders Field -https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/in-flanders-fields-by-john-d-mccrae/

Julian Grenfell was killed by shrapnel.
Into Battle – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/into-battle-by-julian-grenfell/

Wilfred Owen was killed on Nov.4.  His parents were told the news as bells on Nov.11 were ringing to celebrate peace.
Miners – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/miners-by-wilfred-owen/

Isaac Rosenberg died in combat on the night of April 1, 1918.
Dead Man’s Dump – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/dead-mans-dump-by-isaac-rosenberg/

Alan Seeger was killed by machine gun fire, July 4, 1916.
I Have A Rendezvous With Death – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/i-have-a-rendezvous-with-death-by-alan-seeger/

Charles Sorley was killed by a German sniper on Oct.13, 1915.
All The Hills And Vales Along – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/all-the-hills-and-vales-along-by-charles-sorley/

Arthur West was shot dead by a sniper’s bullet on April 3, 1917
God! How I Hate You – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/god-how-i-hate-you-young-men-by-arthur-west/

Edward Thomas, “shot clean through the chest”, died in action in 1917.
This Is No Case Of Petty Right Or Wrong – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/this-is-no-case-of-petty-right-or-wrong-by-edward-thomas/

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photo by Michael and Christa Richert at
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mfjy8q2/gun+carriage

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© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2016.

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All the hills and vales along
Earth is bursting into song,
And the singers are the chaps
Who are going to die perhaps.
O sing, marching men,
Till the valleys ring again.
Give your gladness to earth’s keeping,
So be glad, when you are sleeping.
Cast away regret and rue,
Think what you are marching to.
Little live, great pass.
Jesus Christ and Barabbas
Were found the same day.
This died, that went his way.
So sing with joyful breath,
For why, you are going to death.
Teeming earth will surely store
All the gladness that you pour.

Earth that never doubts nor fears,
Earth that knows of death, not tears,
Earth that bore with joyful ease
Hemlock for Socrates,
Earth that blossomed and was glad
‘Neath the cross that Christ had,
Shall rejoice and blossom too
When the bullet reaches you.
Wherefore, men marching
On the road to death, sing!
Pour your gladness on earth’s head,
So be merry, so be dead.

From the hills and valleys earth
Shouts back the sound of mirth,
Tramp of feet and lilt of song
Ringing all the road along.
All the music of their going,
Ringing swinging glad song-throwing,
Earth will echo still, when foot
Lies numb and voice mute.
On, marching men, on
To the gates of death with song.
Sow your gladness for earth’s reaping,
So you may be glad, though sleeping.
Strew your gladness on earth’s bed,
So be merry, so be dead.

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