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Christian Learning,

Anzac Day

26 April 2023

The 4th stanza of For the Fallen, is commonly used during Anzac Day services, but the rest of the poem and the author is often overlooked. Here’s some background to shed some light on Binyon and his poem.

Binyon wrote this poem merely a month after the commencement of WW1 in response to the devastating casualties suffered by British troops during the Battle of Mons. Binyon, the son of a pastor, infused his writing with the influence of his Christian faith. The poem also makes reference to hope after death, and there is a link between the verse in Daniel 12 and the last stanza. Enjoy!

FOR THE FALLEN by Laurence Binyon

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 condemn.

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 at 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.

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever”. Daniel 12:3

Blessings Yvette Wynne

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