Sometimes a poet, writing of one matter – in Laurence Binyon’s case, the English Expeditionary Force in the First World War – will write words so timeless that those parts not specifically tied to place or time re-echo through the ages whenever a like event occurs.
The second, fourth, sixth, and seventh verses of For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon, for this eve of 9/11:
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 shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
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.