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In Flanders Fields

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In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 

– John McCrae

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The Anxious Dead

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O guns, fall silent till the dead men hear
Above their heads the legions pressing on:
(These fought their fight in time of bitter fear,
And died not knowing how the day had gone.)

O flashing muzzles, pause, and let them see
The coming dawn that streaks the sky afar;
Then let your mighty chorus witness be
To them, and Caesar, that we still make war.

Tell them, O guns, that we have heard their call,
That we have sworn, and will not turn aside,
That we will onward till we win or fall,
That we will keep the faith for which they died.

Bid them be patient, and some day, anon,
They shall feel earth enwrapt in silence deep;
Shall greet, in wonderment, the quiet dawn,
And in content may turn them to their sleep.

 

John MccRae

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30th November – On This Day In History

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Born:

1872 John McCrae (poet – In Flanders Fields)

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Died:

2007 Evel Knievel (motorcycle stunt man)

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On This Day:

1487 German Beer Purity Law is pronounced, stating that beer may only be brewed from water, malt and hops

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Have a good Friday, 30th November

The Unconquered Dead

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“. . . defeated, with great loss.”

Not we the conquered! Not to us the blame
Of them that flee, of them that basely yield;
Nor ours the shout of victory, the fame
Of them that vanquish in a stricken field.

That day of battle in the dusty heat
We lay and heard the bullets swish and sing
Like scythes amid the over-ripened wheat,
And we the harvest of their garnering.

Some yielded, No, not we! Not we, we swear
By these our wounds; this trench upon the hill
Where all the shell-strewn earth is seamed and bare,
Was ours to keep; and lo! we have it still.

We might have yielded, even we, but death
Came for our helper; like a sudden flood
The crashing darkness fell; our painful breath
We drew with gasps amid the choking blood.

The roar fell faint and farther off, and soon
Sank to a foolish humming in our ears,
Like crickets in the long, hot afternoon
Among the wheat fields of the olden years.

Before our eyes a boundless wall of red
Shot through by sudden streaks of jagged pain!
Then a slow-gathering darkness overhead
And rest came on us like a quiet rain.

Not we the conquered! Not to us the shame,
Who hold our earthen ramparts, nor shall cease
To hold them ever; victors we, who came
In that fierce moment to our honoured peace.

 

– John McCrae

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16th August – On This Day In History

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Born:

1888 TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia – diplomatic role in WW1 Middle East)

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Died:

2003 Idi Amin (Dictator of Uganda and culpable for the killings of approx half a million people)

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On This Day:

1960 Cyprus granted independence (from Britain)

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Have a good Thursday, 16th August

6th December – On This Day In History

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Born:

1886 Joyce Kilmer (poet)

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Died:

1972 Janet Munro (actress)

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On This Day:

1877 The first publication of The Washington Post

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Have a good Tuesday, 6th December

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

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31st July – On This Day In History

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Born:

1962 Wesley Snipes (actor)

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Died:

2009 Sir Bobby Robson (English footballer and manager)

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On This Day:

1917 3rd Battle of Ypres commences

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Have a good Sunday, 31st July

http://www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk