When emotions take over, the poet within you often emerges. These Veterans Day excerpts from poems touch the heart and soul of every patriot. They will send chills down your spine. They bring the horror of war home. If you know a veteran, share these words to let them know their devotion to country is important and appreciated.
Veterans Day Poems
War Is Kind
"Do not weep, babe, for war is kind.
Because your father tumbles in the yellow trenches,
Raged at his breast, gulped and died,
Do not weep.
War is kind."
On the Departure of the British From Charleston
"But fame is theirs - and future days
On pillar'd brass shall tell their praise;
Shall tell - when cold neglect is dead -
'These for their country fought and bled.'"
Leaves of Grass
"I saw battle-corpses, myriads of them,
And the white skeletons of young men - I saw them;
I saw the debris and debris of all the dead soldiers of the war;
But I saw they were not as was thought;
They themselves were fully at rest - they suffer'd not;
The living remain'd and suffer'd - the mother suffer'd,
And the wife and the child, and the musing comrade suffer'd,
And the armies that remain'd suffer'd."
The Things That Make a Soldier Great
"Endanger but that humble street whereon his children run,
You make a soldier of the man who never bore a gun.
What is it through the battle smoke the valiant soldier sees?"
In Flanders Fields
"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
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."
"In the battlefield men grapple each other and die;
The horses of the vanquished utter lamentable cries to heaven,
While ravens and kites peck at human entrails,
Carry them up in their flight, and hang them on the branches of dead trees."
"It's Tommy this, and Tommy that,
And chuck him out the brute,
But it's 'Savior of his Country,'
When the guns begin to shoot."
"But the past is just the same - and War's a bloody game…
Have you forgotten yet?…
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget."
Anthem for Doomed Youth
"What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons."
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The Charge of the Light Brigade
"Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred."
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Mother and Poet
"Dead! One of them shot by the sea in the east,
And one of them shot in the west by the sea.
Dead! both my boys! When you sit at the feast
And are wanting a great song for Italy free,
Let none look at me!"
"We pray the fickle flag of truce
Still float deceitfully and fair;
Our eyes must love its sweet abuse;
This hour we will not care,
Though just beyond to-morrow's gate,
Arrayed and strong, the battle wait."