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Posts Tagged ‘Julian Grenfell’

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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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The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s gaze glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze;
And life is Colour and Warmth and Light,
And a striving evermore for these;
And he is dead who will not fight,
And who dies fighting has increase.

The fighting man shall from the sun
Take warmth, and life from glowing earth;
Speed with the light-foot winds to run
And with the trees to newer birth;
And find, when fighting shall be done,
Great rest, and fulness after dearth.

All the bright company of Heaven
Hold him in their bright comradeship,
The Dog star, and the Sisters Seven,
Orion’s belt and sworded hip:

The woodland trees that stand together,
They stand to him each one a friend;
They gently speak in the windy weather;
They guide to valley and ridges end.

The kestrel hovering by day,
And the little owls that call by night,
Bid him be swift and keen as they,
As keen of ear, as swift of sight.

The blackbird sings to him: “Brother, brother,
If this be the last song you shall sing,
Sing well, for you may not sing another;
Brother, sing.”

In dreary doubtful waiting hours,
Before the brazen frenzy starts,
The horses show him nobler powers; —
O patient eyes, courageous hearts!

And when the burning moment breaks,
And all things else are out of mind,
And only joy of battle takes
Him by the throat and makes him blind,
Through joy and blindness he shall know,
Not caring much to know, that still
Nor lead nor steel shall reach him, so
That it be not the Destined Will.

The thundering line of battle stands,
And in the air Death moans and sings;
But Day shall clasp him with strong hands,
And Night shall fold him in soft wings.

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