Here are a small number of poems from the front line

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blowv Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky.The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago. We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie n Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.

We Shall Keep the Faith
by Moina Michael, November 1918

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields, Sleep sweet - to rise anew! We caught the torch you threw And holding high, we keep the Faith With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red That grows on fields where valor led; It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies, But lends a lustre to the red Of the flower that blooms above the dead In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red We wear in honor of our dead. Fear not that ye have died for naught; We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought In Flanders Fields.

A Soldier’s Cemetery
by John William Streets
(killed and missing in action on 1st July 1916 aged 31)

Behind that long and lonely trenched line To which men come and go, where brave men die, There is a yet unmarked and unknown shrine, A broken plot, a soldier’s cemetery.

There lie the flower of youth, the men who scorn’d To live (so died) when languished Liberty: Across their graves flowerless and unadorned Still scream the shells of each artillery.

When war shall cease this lonely unknown spot Of many a pilgrimage will be the end, And flowers will shine in this now barren plot And fame upon it through the years descend: But many a heart upon each simple cross Will hang the grief, the memory of its loss.

Before Action
by Lieutenant William Noel Hodgson, MC, 29th June, 1916

By all the glories of the day And the cool evening's benison By that last sunset touch that lay Upon the hills when day was done, By beauty lavishly outpoured And blessings carelessly received, By all the days that I have lived Make me a soldier, Lord.

By all of all man's hopes and fearsAnd all the wonders poets sing, The laughter of unclouded years, And every sad and lovely thing; By the romantic ages stored With high endeavour that was his, By all his mad catastrophes Make me a man, O Lord

I, that on my familiar hill Saw with uncomprehending eyes A hundred of thy sunsets spill Their fresh and sanguine sacrifice, Ere the sun swings his noonday sword Must say good-bye to all of this; - By all delights that I shall miss, Help me to die, O Lord.