For the Fallen

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Gedenktafel am Entstehungsort des Gedichts
Die Ode of Remembrance auf einer Gedenktafel in der Christ Church Cathedral in Christchurch, Neuseeland

For the Fallen ist ein Gedicht Laurence Binyons, welches an die gefallenen englischen Soldaten im Ersten Weltkrieg erinnert.

Es erschien am 21. September 1914 in The Times, 1915 wurde es von Edward Elgar vertont. Douglas Guest schrieb 1971 als Organist und Chorleiter von Westminster Abbey ein Chorwerk zu dem Text, das jährlich im Rahmen des Remembrance Sunday zur Aufführung kommt. Das Gedicht wird regelmäßig im Rahmen von Gedenkveranstaltungen zum Ersten Weltkrieg rezitiert, neben dem Remembrance Sunday etwa am ANZAC Day oder am Remembrance Day. Die vierte Strophe des Gedichts, bekannt als Ode of Remembrance, ist auf zahlreichen Kriegerdenkmälern zu finden.

Text[Bearbeiten]

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.