Poetry Sunday: For the Fallen

This is a poem that was written over a hundred years ago in 1914.  It was a memorial for the fallen in what then was called the Great War, the War to End All Wars. It could just as easily speak for the fallen of any war.

Sadly, World War I did not end all wars. Wars continue and so do the fallen. More names are added to the rolls every day. On Memorial Day, we honor all of them who have died in the service of this country.

For the Fallen

by Laurence Binyon

Related Poem Content Details

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 a 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 contemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them.
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.


  1. I am always so conflicted on this day.

  2. Perfect poem for Memorial Day. (as not knowledgeable about poetry as I am, I said, halfway through, "so that is where the line always quoted about "they shall not grow old...age shall not weary them" comes from.)


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