The Ode Of Remembrance (Official)

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The Official Australian Ode Of Remembrance


The Offical 'Ode To The Fallen' is taken from the fourth stanza of Laurence Binyons famous poem, 'For The Fallen'.


Laurence Binyon was born in Lancaster, England in 1869. He attended Oxford University where he won the Newdigate prize for poetry.


By the 21st September 1914, when England was already suffering appalling casualties in France and Belgium, the Times Newspaper published Binyon's poem, 'The Fallen'. Binyon had written it in despair over the mounting casualty figures. The poem became widely popular in England and also in Australia and New Zealand.


Binyon wrote the poem while he was employed at the British Museum, it would not be until later, in 1916, that Binyon would finally go to the Western Front to serve as a hospital orderly and witness the carnage personally.


Binyon returned from the war and it horrors to work once again for the British Museum, he died in 1943.


In Australia and New Zealand The 'Ode' is recited whenever the Fallen are commemorated. In service clubs all over Australia it is custoomary to be Up Standing and silent when the Ode is read. This custom is strictly observed nightly in all Returned & Service Clubs.


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 a 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 uncountered:
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.

-- Laurence Binyon