Monday, November 12, 2012

On Armistice Day, The Philharmonic Will Play, But The Songs That We Sing Will Be Sad

For the grandfather I never knew.

I KNOW that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public man, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

William Butler Yeats -- An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

3 comments:

Casey Klahn said...

We are all Irishmen, now. Add veteran to that, and where does it get you?

That's why I seek serendipity, but maybe the Irish stories and lyrics do better to just leave you unrequited. Hmmm.

Shirley Eucantbeserious said...

Watching that WWI footage, I couldn't help feel sad knowing that in one form or another we will surely revisit that desolation and carnage, man being what he is.

Bilejones said...

The renaming of Armistice day; the celebration of the end of a war, to Veterans day; the celebration of those who fight them, was a typically cynical ploy of the war-mongers.