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.
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 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.
- Laurence Binyon
Interpretation: This poem is an apology to those who perished, or the relatives of those who sacrificed their lives, but ensures that it was noble of them to die for their country. It also is about how that no matter the amount of time that passes, we will never forget their sacrifices that they made for their country, and the mother country.
About the Poet: Laurence Binyon established a career teaching the English arts and letters, until war broke out. He then served in the Red Cross as an orderly for the wounded soldiers and his poetic career blossomed since managing to visit the front on a few occasions. He turned his experiences on the front as an orderly into numerous books and became most well known for the poem, “For the Fallen” that sold over eight million copies.
Connection to Vic High: Approximately 83 Vic High soldiers died in the war. While many returned home, only to succumb to their war time injuries. 16% of the population from Vic High who enlisted never returned and became a portion of the fallen soldiers lost by our nation.