For the Fallen

Edward Elgar

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 fought, they were terrible, nought could tame them
Hunger, nor legions, nor shattering cannonade
They laughed, they sang their melodies of England
They fell open-eyed and unafraid

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 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

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