Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunday War Poets...

Sir Henry Newbolt

(1862-1924)



Newbolt : William Strang 1898


FAREWELL 

Mother, with unbowed head
 Hear thou across the sea
The farewell of the dead,
 The dead who died for thee.
Greet them again with tender words and grave,
For, saving thee, themselves they could not save.

~
To keep the house unharmed
Their fathers built so fair,
Deeming endurance armed
Better than brute despair,
They found the secret of the word that saith,
"Service is sweet, for all true life is death."

~
So greet thou well thy dead
Across the homeless sea,
And be thou comforted
Because they died for thee.
Far off they served, but now their deed is done
For evermore their life and thine are one.

*~*~*



Sir Henry Newbolt was born in Bilston,Staffordshire. On leaving Christi College, Oxford, he became a barrister but is better known for his poetry and for his literary works on naval history. At the start of the First World War, Newbolt - along with over 20 other leading British writers - was brought into the War Propaganda Bureau which had been formed to promote Britain's interests during the war and maintain public opinion in favour of the war.

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FAREWELL was originally composed in 1910 but was reprinted in The Times on the 
23rd September 1914

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2 comments:

  1. This is such a poignant, sad poem - my favourite of the series so far!

    Nell at And Nell Writes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting Nell - I agree, it is sad, but then all the WW1 poems I discover are so sad. It's fascinating to research them.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffa and I appreciate your interest.