Yesterday I looked up The Ode to quietly recite to myself this morning and only just learned it's part of a longer poem, For The Fallen by Laurence Binyon: 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 at 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.
And once again the documentaries on Maori TV were excellent.
Let's not forget the excellent selection of films, Battle of Britain in the afternoon at around the same time as the flypast over Nelson late afternoon, and Dunkirk later in the evening, to name a few.
I have a fondness for the logo drawn up to represent New Zealand in France and Belgium at battlefield sites. The fern made up of marching soldiers. It has the motto "Nga Tapuwae", or Sacred Steps. It's heartwarming to see these when visiting the places.