Laurence Binyon

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Laurence Binyon
In Memory of George Calderon
Wisdom and Valour, Faith,
Justice,—the lofty names
Of virtue’s quest and prize,—
What is each but a cold wraith
Until it lives in a man
And looks thro’ a man’s eyes?

On Chivalry as I muse,
The spirit so high and clear
It cannot soil with aught
It meets of foul misuse;
It turns wherever burns
The flame of a brave thought;

And wheresoever the moan
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For the Fallen
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.
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Ypres
She was a city of patience; of proud name,
Dimmed by neglecting Time; of beauty and loss;
Of acquiescence in the creeping moss.
But on a sudden fierce destruction came
Tigerishly pouncing: thunderbolt and flame
Showered on her streets, to shatter them and toss
Her ancient towers to ashes. Riven across,
She rose, dead, into never-dying fame.
White against heavens of storm, a ghost, she is known
To the world's ends. The myriads of the brave
Sleep round her. Desolately glorified,
She, moon-like, draws her own far-moving tide
Of sorrow and memory; toward her, each alone,
Glide the dark dreams that seek an English grave.

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