Sunday 27 December 2015

Sunday WW1 Poet..

A fitting tribute to end this year's WW1 poetry

Hope you've enjoyed reading them.

Anniversary of the Great Retreat (1915)


Isabel C Clarke

Now a whole year has waxed and waned and whitened

Over the mounds that marked the grim advance;

The winter snows have lain, the spring flowers brightened,

On those beloved graves of Northern France.

Caudry, Le Cateau. Landrecies, are written

In our sad hearts with letters of flame,

Where our young dead still lie, untimely smitten,

In graves still unredeemed that bear no name.

And those who saw them spoke of the ‘boy-faces’

The English soldiers wore; they heard them sing

As they went forth to their appointed places,

Who when night fell lay unremembering….

O England, sing their fame in songs and story,

Who knew Death’s victory not Life’s defeat;

By their names written on thy roll of glory,

Who fought and perished in the Great Retreat!

These held they high tradition in their keeping

This flower of all a nations’ youth and pride

And safe they hold it still in their last sleeping;

They heard thy call and answered it and died…

And by those graves that mark their proud surrender

In days to come each one that lingereth

Shall sadly think of all their vanished splendour,

‘Contemptible’. But faithful unto death.

So we press forward, step by step redeeming

Each hallowed spot our dead have sanctified,

That we may whisper to them in their dreaming.

The Victory is ours because you died….



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting, Susan - I've yet to find any WW1 poetry that doesn't break your heart into a million pieces.


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