War Poems thread - please come in and comment!

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Lord Gort
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Post by Lord Gort » 24 Jun 2004 19:12

Thanks Aufklarung, interesting link, I think I will be PM'ing you.

Daryl, I love the poem, and like the way you make a point of not using my title :) 'Lord'.

You failed to mention who wrote your poem was. It was Siegfried Sassoon if I'm not mistaken, its got connections to a favourite of mine 'Base Details'.

Klaus Yurk, do you have any personal favourites?


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Klaus Yurk
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Post by Klaus Yurk » 24 Jun 2004 19:43


I love these lines from Keith Douglas' "How to kill."

[quote]Under the parabola of a ball,
a child turning into a man,
I looked into the air too long.
The ball fell in my hand, it sang
in the closed fist: Open Open
Behold a gift designed to kill.

Now in my dial of glass appears
the soldier who is going to die.
He smiles, and moves about in ways
his mother knows, habits of his.
The wires touch his face: I cry
NOW. Death, like a familiar, hears

and look, has made a man of dust
of a man of flesh. This sorcery
I do. Being damned, I am amused
to see the centre of love diffused
and the wave of love travel into vacancy.
How easy it is to make a ghost.

The weightless mosquito touches
her tiny shadow on the stone,
and with how like, how infinite
a lightness, man and shadow meet.
They fuse. A shadow is a man
when the mosquito death approaches.[quote]

It says a lot about war.

I also love "High Flight." But it is more about the joy and wonder of flight than about war itself.

All the best,


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Post by Rommel8 » 24 Jun 2004 21:26

Maybe not a poem, but:

And when he gets to heaven,
To St. Peter he will tell:
One more soldier reporting sir
Ive served my time in hell

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Allen Milcic
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Post by Allen Milcic » 25 Jun 2004 00:10

Good day to all!

Here is a poem written by a Croatian veteran of the Homeland War (91-95) - first in its original and then my attempt at translation into English.


Dok je Evropa gledala

Dok je Evropa gledala
Moja DOMOVINA je gorila
Moja braca su ginula
Moja majka je plakala

Dok je Evropa gledala
Podivljala je cjela Srbija
Gradove, sela i crkve je rusila
Moju Domovinu si je prisvojila

Dok je Evropa gledala
Kolona djece je nestala
Hladne grobove im je pronasla
Kosti mojeih ljudi je brojila

Dok je Evropa gledala
Stvaranje zlocina je potvrdila
Posto nije reagirala
Moja Domovina je patila

Dok je Evropa gledala
Vrata krvnicima je otvorila
Robove od moje brace je ucinila
Vode branioca je osudila

Dok je Evropa gledala
Robovske nam lance je kovala
Prirodu Hrvatske je unistavala
Danak u krvi si je naplacivala

“Stop the war in Croatia”
“Europe you can stop the war”
Moja braca su pjevala
Sirom svijeta pjesma je odjekivala

Dok je Evropa zazmirila
Ponovo se rodi nacija
Iz vatre i vruceg pepela
Od krvi mojih predaka
Moja Domovina-Moja Hrvatska

Kad bi se Evropa probudila
Iz treme sna i ne reagiranja
Dala mojoj domovini sto je zasluzila
Kroz Danak u krvi sto je platila
Da bude jedna od EVROPSKIH clanica

Kad nebi samo hladno GLEDALA
Hladno gledala i mojoj braci SUDILA

- Written by Frank Tot

While Europe Stood By

While Europe stood by
My HOMELAND was burning
My brothers were dying
My mother was crying

While Europe stood by
Serbia went mad
Cities, villages and churches they ravaged
My Homeland they claimed

While Europe stood by
Columns of children were missed
Cold graves were all that was found
Bones of my people to be counted

While Europe stood by
Crimes were committed
No one reacted
While my Homeland suffered

While Europe stood by
The executioner's doors were opened
My brother's were enslaved
The defenders convicted

While Europe stood by
Chains of slavery were created
Croatian beauty destroyed
A bloody toll collected

“Stop the war in Croatia”
“Europe you can stop the war”
My brothers sang
For the World to hear

But while Europe closed its eyes
Our nation was reborn
From flames and hot ashes
From the blood of my people
My Homeland - My Croatia

If only Europe would awake
From its deep sleep
And give my Homeland what it has earned
Through the bloody toll it has payed
To be recognized as a EUROPEAN nation

If only Europe would stop standing coldly by
Judging my brothers with cold indifference

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Dan W.
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Post by Dan W. » 25 Jun 2004 01:40


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

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

John McCrae

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Klaus Yurk
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Post by Klaus Yurk » 25 Jun 2004 06:51


I've not read "In Flanders Fields" since I was in 7th or 8th grade. Believe me, that was a long time ago.

Thank you for posting it.


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Post by alf » 25 Jun 2004 09:46

Another superb WW2 poet, a US one Randall Jarrall

The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

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Post by alf » 25 Jun 2004 09:48

One from my era

To Whom It May Concern

I was run over by the truth one day.
Ever since the accident I've walked this way
So stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Heard the alarm clock screaming with pain,
Couldn't find myself so I went back to sleep again
So fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Every time I shut my eyes all I see is flames.
Made a marble phone book and I carved out all the names
So coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
So stuff my nose with garlic
Coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Where were you at the time of the crime?
Down by the Cenotaph drinking slime
So chain my tongue with whisky
Stuff my nose with garlic
Coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

You put your bombers in, you put your conscience out,
You take the human being and you twist it all about
So scrub my skin with women
Chain my tongue with whisky
Stuff my nose with garlic
Coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

-- Adrian Mitchell

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Lord Gort
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Post by Lord Gort » 25 Jun 2004 11:20

I was not very familiar with Keith Douglas, but the more I read him when people like Klaus post his poems, he more I like his poetry.

Allen that poem says alot about the thoughts of Croatia, and the plight of small countries. How old is the rivalry between Croats and Serbs?

Rommel, I liked that little section.

Thanks Alf for the poem, Vietnam created some very good films and books, but I know of few poems from it.

Here is my choice for today, to do with the Boer War. I'm sure Dan could tell us the meaning of a few of the words. I think the 'Veldt' means countryside, and that 'Karoo' is the word for the sky or the stars or something....anyway here it is...

Drummer Hodge ~Thomas Hardy

They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
Uncoffined – just as found:
His landmark is a kopje-crest
That breaks the veldt around;
And foreign constellations west
Each night above his mound.

Young Hodge the Drummer never knew –
Fresh from his Wessex home –
The meaning of the broad Karoo,
The Bush, the dusty loam,
And why uprose to nightly view
Strange stars amid the gloam.

Yet portion of that unknown plain
Will Hodge forever be;
His homely Northern breast and brain
Grow to some Southern tree,
And strange-eyed constellation reign
His stars eternally.

Friendly Regards,

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Daryl Leeworthy
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Post by Daryl Leeworthy » 25 Jun 2004 11:55

This poem is one of the most famous of all Welsh poems:


WYLO anniddig dwfn fy mlynyddoedd
A'm gwewyr glyw-wyd ar lwm greigleoedd
Canys Merch y Drycinoedd - oeddwn gynt:
Criwn ym mawrwynt ac oerni moroedd.

Dioer wylwn am na welwn fanwylyd,
Tywysog meibion gwlad desog mebyd,
Pan nad oedd un penyd hyd - ein dyddiau,
Ac i'w rhuddem hafau cerddem hefyd.

Un hwyr pan heliodd niwl i'r panylau
Rwydi o wead dieithr y duwiau,
Mi wybum weld y mab mau - yn troi'n rhydd
O hen fagwyrydd dedwydd ei dadau.

Y llanc a welwn trwy'r gwyll yn cilio
I ddeildre hudol werdd Eldorado,
O'i ôl bu'r coed yn wylo, - a nentydd
Yn nhawch annedwydd yn ucheneidio.

Y macwy heulog, paham y ciliodd?
Ba ryw hud anwel o'm bro a'i denodd?
Ei oed a'i eiriau dorrodd , - ac o'i drig
Ddiofal unig efe ddiflannodd.

A'i rhyw ddawn anwar oedd yn ei enaid?
Neu ynteu hiraeth am lawntiau euraid?
O'i ôl mae bro'i anwyliaid - dan wyll trwch
Heb ei wên a'i degwch pur bendigaid.

Minnau o'i ôl yng nghymun awelon,
Troais i gwfert drysi ag afon,
A churiwyd rhychau oerion - i'm deurudd,
Is tawch cywilydd a thristwch calon.

Twrf anniddan y gwynt ar fynyddau,
A gawr allwynin y wig ar llynnau,
Udent ym mhyrth fy nwydau, - oni throes
Gerddi feinioes yn darth a griddfannau.

Un nos oer hunais yn sur ewynnau,
A gwenau aethus y lloergan hithau
Hyd fy hirwallt fu oriau, - a'r crych pêr
Yn wylon dyner fel henoed dannau.

Yno mi gerddais tros drumau gwyrddion
I bau hir-ddedwydd ym mraich breuddwydion;
Hiraeth nid oedd yr awron, - canys caid
Heulwennau euraid a thelynorion.

Yn y bau loyw hon roedd teml ysblennydd
O liwiau breuddwyd a haul boreddydd;
Ac ar ei rhosliw geyrydd - roedd hwyliau
O wyn lumannau fel niwl y mynydd.

Oddi fewn gwelwn orsedd o fynor
Ac arni ogonaid ddi-gryn gynnor;
Ei lais mwyn fel su y môr, - a'i dalaith
O wneuthuriad perffaith rhyw hud porffor.

Yno roedd duwiau cerdd a dyhewyd
A hoen ac asbri pob ieuanc ysbryd;
Nid oedd w^r annedwydd hyd - y wenfro,
Ac ni bu yno o'r drwg nai benyd.

A dull y gwron di-wall a gerais
Ger allor heulog ar y llawr welais,
Ac yn ei lyfn ysgawn lais - yr awron
Hud ag alawon uwch gwybod glywais.

Cans rhyw dduw â rhin ei fedr dewinol
I'w ganaid wefus roes egni dwyfol;
A rhoed lliw disglair hudol - i'w enaid
O hafau euraid yr oes anfarwol.

A rhoed dyhewyd hendre y duwiau
Yn hud anorfod i'w danllyd nerfau,
A chrisiant serch yr oesau - fel haen ddrud
O ryfedd olud ar ei feddyliau.

Ei law fynoraidd gariai lafn eurad
A heriai dras pob diras ei doriad,
Ac ar ei harddaf safiad - gwelwn ddelw
Un allo farw i ennill ei fwriad.

Yna rhyw faddon o dân rhyfeddol
Welid yno trwy olau dewinol;
Wedi hyn y mab denol - o'i fynwes
I hwnnw a fwries y duw anfarwol.

Codwyd y macwy, ac ymhen ennyd
Doi nodau hudol y duwn dywedyd:
Y mab hwn fydd grym y byd, - a'i eiriau
Yn win y duwiau, yn dân dyhewyd.

"Gwn y bydd creulon droeon i'w drywydd,
A du iawn adwyth a byd annedwydd;
Eithr efe athro a fydd, - yn nysg gêl
Y dyddiau anwel ar oed ddihenydd.

"Didlawd felyswawd y dwyfol oesau
Au gloywaf fiwsig lif o'i wefusau;
Ac yn asur dig nosau - pawb a'i gwêl
Yn lloer dawel ac yn allur duwiau.

"Merchyg fel drycin ar flaen y trinoedd,
A baidd â'i anadl ysgwyd byddinoedd;
Ei wy^s a chwâl lynghesoedd, - a'i nerth maith
Ofwya'n oddaith ar wyllt fynyddoedd.

"Geilw ar fywyd o'i benyd a'i boenau
I fyd didranc yr ieuanc foreau,
Ar oes wen liw rhosynnau - ddaw yn ôl
Ar li anfarwol ei nwyf a'i eiriau.

"Er i helynt y gerrynt ei guro,
A bwrw ei hirnych o'r wybyr arno,
Ni wêl hwn ddim a'i blino, - canys bydd
Awen y gwynddydd pellennig ynddo.

Rhyw ddydd llachar ofwya'r tyrfaoedd
I'w oed urddasol 'rôl dadwrdd oesoedd;
Yna holl wae ei drinoedd - dry'n nerfus
Gân ar wefus moliannus ganrifoedd.

Tros wefus ddi-wrid y pyramidiau
Efe a lefair am ddwyfol hafau;
Ac o'i lyfn gofgolofnau - efe fydd
Duw a thywysydd gorymdaith oesau."

Gwelwn y macwy mwy yn tramwyo
I'w henwlad irad yn ôl i dario;
Ond ar hyd Eldorado - llu mwynllais
Yn dawnsio welais, a'r duw'n noswylio.

Galwyd finnau o 'mreuddwyd mawreddog
Gan wyntoedd oerfin cethrin ysgythrog;
A chanai crych ewynog - ar y traeth
Ogonedd hiraeth fy mron gynddeiriog.

II Y Gw^r Gofidus.

Y gw^r mwynllais gerais gynt
Guriodd o gof i'r gerrynt,
Ac aeth o gof atgof oed
Moliangerdd mil o wingoed.

Rhyw welw rwyg rywelwr oedd
Ar hyn yn dod o'r trinoedd:
Nid oedd hud na golud gwyn
I'w grwm olwg, w^r melyn.
Yn ei wallt roedd chwaon hwyr
A nos enaid i'w synnwyr.
A thrwy'r fro oedd yno'n wen
Gan eira, freugaen oerwen,
Nid oedd w^r na channaid ddyn
I'w arddel, ledfyw furddyn.
Lliw drysau llwyd yr oesoedd
Hyd y trwm gardotwr oedd;
A chan ei dristed, dwedyd
Bwy oedd nid allai y byd;
I'w wedd roedd agwedd dreigiau
Welodd fil o ymladdfâu;
A thwrf alaeth rhyfeloedd
Yn y chwa o'i amgylch oedd.

Eithr o'i ing aruthr yngo
A diwyd iaith dwedai o:
"I'w hoed mewn cyflawn adeg
Y gelwais bob dyfais deg;
Ban gawn gynt ar helynt rwydd
Eurglod goruwch pob arglwydd,
Trigais yng nghanol golud
Aneddau aur bonedd hud,
Ac yn serch pob gwenferch gain
Lledais fy ngwenlliw adain;
Tithau a'm bwriaist weithion
O oedfa rwyg serch dy fron.
Heddiw 'rwyn dlawd anniddos,
Yn rhan o wynt chwerw y nos.

"Daear anghyffwrdd duwiau
Ac aml bell ddigwmwl bau
Lle na bu y gwyll yn bod
Diriais o'm mebyd erod
Erwau Valhala'r arwyr
Ar deg Eldorado w^yr.

"Sgrifennais a welais i
A phwyntil haul a phaent lili;
Gwisgais bob traith ag iaith gêl
Cewri'r pellterau cwrel,
A byd hardd pob gwybod hen
Dramwyais i drwym hawen;
A thrwy fil o athrofâu
Heliais i ti feddyliau;
Erod pob rhyw wybod ros
Anwyd om deall dinos.
Enwau'r sêr au niferoedd
A'u lliw yn nail fy llên oedd;
A thrwy drwm a dieithr drais
Erod pob gwyddor huriais.

"Fy nerthoedd tymestl oeddynt
Yn huodl gerdd Handel gynt;
Cenais drom oerlom hirlef
Uffern, a hoff eiriau nef,
A llawer clir gywir gân
O hawddfyd dyn a'i riddfan.

"Mae twrf gwyntoedd cymoedd cau
Yn hud ar fy nghaniadau,
A llam hoyw pob lli miwail
A su dwys isleisiau dail.
Tithau wrandewaist weithian
Fy angerdd, fy ngherdd, fy nghân;
A'r tâl mau fu treisiau trwm
Eiddig warthrudd a gorthrwm.

"A'm hewyd fu'n fflam awen
Mewn llawer i Homer hen;
Gwisgais bob cân â manaur
O geyrydd yr hwyrddydd aur;
Ac yn hedd y nos cawn wau
Soned o wrid rhosynnau;
Ac yn honno atgo hen
Holl hiraeth my^r y lloerwen.
"Cenais obaith maith fy myd
A hud ieuanc dyhewyd;
Yn fy ngherdd roedd angerdd wynt
Ac arogl mellt y gerrynt.
Fy awen i, - llef ddofn oedd,
A'i llais a glywr holl oesoedd;
A'r wobr fau fu treisiau trwm
A diarlwy fyd hirlwm.

"O bu ar lawer i baith
Firagl afar y gleifwaith,
Yn ei oddaith a'i weiddi,
Yn ei dân bum henaid i;
Ysgydwais ddur Arthur hen
A chawraidd freichiau Urien;
Am hoywlafn gwenfflam welwyd
Is tywyll oer gestyll llwyd:
Ffoai crin ffeils frenhinedd
Ar gyfyng hynt rhag fy ngwedd.

"Rhin claer pob cronicl euriaith
Yw cyni nghymhelri maith."

"Bûm yn ddraig pan godai gad
Aerwyr i'r trinoedd irad;
A bûm darian i'r gwan gynt
Ar draeth alaeth a helynt;
Ac ar fy rhydd gywir fron
Mae gwaed pob Armagedon.

"Od ymleddais ymgais oedd
Er ennill i ti rinoedd;
A'th ennill o byrth unig
Y nos ddofn a'i theyrnas ddig;
Ac ar y daith hirfaith oed
Lluniais rhag tywyll henoed
Hafod wen i'th fywyd di
O lelog teg a lili.

"Er dy fwyn bu'r crwydrad, ferch,
Trosot bu trinoedd traserch;
A throsot ti gweddîais
A haenau llosg yn fy llais.
Gwyddost, Wen, na fu gennyf
Un Iôn na fawn arno'n hyf.
Eithr daeth oer fâr i'th gariad
A niwl o fro anial frad;
Minnau, fu gynt ym mhenyd,
Yng nghymhelri'r cewri cyd,
A chwythaist o'th serch weithion
Ail ewyn deifl blaen y don.
Eithr ba waeth, ni fathr y byd
Actau ieuanc dyhewyd;
Gwedi cw^yn ac oed cyni,
I'r hafod wen cariaf di:
Yno cei fywn unbennes
Yng ngwlad hardd anneongl des."

"Ffo, w^r crin", ebe finnau,
"I rwyg fyd yr ogofâu,
O'th ôl mae maith ddialydd
O dremyn storm nos a dydd.
Gwell rhag llaw yw'r glaw ar glog
I ymhonnwr crwm heiniog;
Wr di-wawr, o'th garu di
Amarch fy mro f'ai imi".

Ynar gw^r brau garw ei bryd
Giliodd fel cwmwl gwywlyd
Efo'r gwynt cyforiog oedd
Yn cwyno'n niwl drycinoedd;
Eithr o'i ôl roedd dieithr hud
I'r nos amur yn symud.

III Y Merthyr

Yng nghwm fy ngwyll a nghamwedd - oedais i
Ar rawd swrth amhuredd;
Ogylch doi wynt fy nrygedd
O ddinas ddu nos ddi-hedd.

Yno daeth rhyw chwerthin du - o lawer
O greigleoedd pygddu;
Yntau noswynt yn nesu
Fal gawr oer neu ddieflig ru.

Ar hyn trwyr coedydd crinion - heibio daeth
Wynebau du creulon,
A nodau brad nwyd eu bron
Yn eu mil ffurfiau moelion.

Yr ymhonnwr crwm yno - a welwn
Mewn hualau'n rhodio;
Ac olion ing ac wylo
Oedd ar ei ddwys ddeurudd o.

Yn sw^n dig y coedwigoedd - a dirmyg
Yr ystormus wyntoedd
Holais ryw fab o'r niwloedd
Ba oed o wae enbyd oedd.

"Ar antur fer," ebr yntau, - "y daeth gw^r
Ar daith gêl o'r deau;
Heno bydd. cwsg y bedd cau
Ar ei wynion amrannau.
"Holai am ryw anwylyd - garodd gynt
Is gwerdd gaer ei febyd;
Er ei mwyn crwydrai mhenyd
A duoer boen tlodi'r byd.

"Dwedai mai caethglud ydoedd - ei fun ef
Yn niwl du ein tiroedd;
Ac amu'r wynt y cymoedd,
Ebr ef, tros ei llwybrau oedd.

"Er hon cydrhwng ein bryniau - ni ddorodd
Ddyhirwawd i'r duwiau;
A bu ofn pan glywai'r bau
Lef ei ysol wefusau.

"Ei fun aethus fynnai weithion - o deml Oes ddideimlad greulon;
I'w diroedd di-bryderon,
I'w wlad deg tros emraid don.

"Gwaeau tost feiddiodd trosti, - o'i hachos
Chwenychodd faith dlodi;
Ei harddwch gollodd erddi
A'i wrid oll i'w gwared hi.

"Eithr er drycin a thrinoedd - a chwerwedd
Carcharau yr oesoedd
I'w enaid nerth byddinoedd
A gwayw dân i'w lygaid oedd.

"I'w neithior tros y moroedd - galwa'i wreng
Gwelw rudd y mynyddoedd;
Ar ei air tyrrai'r tiroedd -
Rhuthr a chyrch anorthrech oedd.

"Deffrowyd y breuddwydion - a hunent
Rhwng ein bryniau llwydion;
A thorf aruthr o feirwon
A fywheid gan y llef hon.

"Gadawent drig y duwiau - tua'r wawr
Megis trin o ddreigiau:
O'u hôl roedd sw^n dialau
Yn holl byrth y dywell bau.

"Ar gw^r tros dduoer geyrydd - a orug
Eu harwain o'u tywydd,
Drwy chwyldro wen ysblennydd,
I ryddid oes werdd ei dydd.

"Yno, ebr ef, cai fanon - ado'i hen
Anghrediniaeth greulon;
Duwiau'r hwyr o'i mynwes drôn,
Eilwaith daw serch i'w chalon.

"Ond diarbed i'w erbyn - y duwiau
Duon a godesyn;
Heno bydd salm y bedd syn
Yn torri trwy'i wallt hirwyn."
Yna y llais ddiflannodd, - ar hwyrwynt
Trwy'r oror drist wylodd;
A niwl du anaele dodd
Lwyd dwyni y wlad danodd.

Eithr yn ddirgel rhywelais - heibio oer
Aberoedd du tristlais;
Ac i'r oed doi'r gw^r wawdiais
Yngo fal hud angof lais.

Ar ei grog draw yn crogi - yn ei waed
Gwelwn ef ar drengi;
A'r awel oer a'i phêr li
Hyd ei hirwallt yn torri.

Rhyw aethus lwydwawr weithion - hyd oror
Y dwyrain diglion
Dorrai fel ar arch dirion
Y gw^r gaid ar y grog hon.

Un ennyd cyn ei huno - dywedodd:
Diadwyth a drengo
A dydd ei ddyhewyd o
I'r awyr yn dwyreo.

"Wele, ferch, dyrchafael fydd, - yno tau
Pob rhyw storm annedwydd;
Ac i'r oed is y coedydd
Cariad rhos o'i dranc hir drydd.
Dy enaid o'r gwyll dynnais ; - oth herwydd
At ferthyron cerddais;
Cans hiraeth meddf dy leddf lais
Drwy gloiau dur a glywais.

"Ponid gwell ydyw'r poenau - ddaw a gwawr
Tros brudd geyrydd oesau
Na dewis breuglod duwiau
Yn niwl y bell anial bau?

"Cyn hir fe'n hunir ninnau - ym mhaladr
Y melyn foreau;
Eisys mae llewych oesau
Y deyrnas hud ar nesháu."

Weithion di-fraw y tawodd, - ar wawr oer
Ar ei wallt chwaraeodd,
A'i lydain lygaid lwydodd
Yn y tarth cyfrin a'u todd.

Yna holais y niwloedd, - a hwythau
Y creithiog fynyddoedd,
Ai duw hud mewn oed ydoedd,
A'i rhyw wyllt ymhonnwr oedd?

IV Y Dyrchafael

A'r huan megis troell
O aur pur uwch y mÿr pell,
Llifodd ias boeth o draserch
I'm mynwes i o'm hen serch;
A llais ar ddull eosydd:
"Wele, ferch, dyrchafael fydd".

Yna wrth borth traeth y bau
Gwelwn sidanog hwyliau
Rhyw long o gwrel, a'i hynt
O deg orwel di gerrynt;
Ar ei bron roedd gw^r o bryd
Rhoslwyn, ag hirwallt dryslyd;
Ataf ei dremyn ytoedd,
A fenw i ar ei fin oedd.

Minnau gan hud a gludwyd
I'r llong ar y dyfnder llwyd;
Wedyn awelon gododd,
A hithau draw ymaith drodd.
O f'ôl roedd hen adfeilion
Yn oer a du ger y don;
Is eu lawnt roedd treisiol wÿr,
A thremyn hen orthrymwyr
Wanwyd gan y mab gwynwawr
Yn nydd mellt ei drinoedd mawr;
Pand yno bu caddug cau
Ac oed hen y cadwynau?

O'm blaen bryd hyn ymdaenai
Y lli mwyn fel mantell Mai;
Ac uwch y môr porffor pell
Weithian ar ddieithr draethell
Roedd cwmwl mawr liw gwawr gêl
Ceyrydd canrifoedd cwrel.
Cyn hir y llong a diries
Wrth ryw bau liw tonnau tes;
A swyn haf glas ei nefoedd
Dros ei thir fel dryswaith oedd,
A thremyn teml ddi-seml sud,
Wele, is coediog olud
Ac iddi o'r gellïoedd
Diri' dorf ar grwydrad oedd.
Ymlaen tua'r deml yno
Hyd erwau aur rhoddais dro,
A phob tlysni ynddi oedd
Fel yn hafal i nefoedd;
Ac ar orsedd unwedd haul
Ym mro hwyr y mÿr araul,
Anwylyd fy mebyd maith
Welwn mewn harddwch eilwaith;
Iddo roedd talaith ruddaur
O hudol sud deilios aur;
Ac i'r llawr rhag ei fawredd
Y syrthiais i wrth ei sedd.
Arglwydd, ebr fenaid, erglyw,
Dy ras eurad afrad yw;
Haeddiant i'th fyd ni feddaf,
Fy Iôr, a'm haneisior Naf,
Canys yn oriau'r cyni
Gwerthais a bradychais di;
Ac yn ing drycin angau
Tybiais ddiwedd dy wedd dau;
Eithr er craith byw eilwaith wyt,
Duw ar dud euraid ydwyt.

"Eilwaith i 'mron dychweli
Fel murmur pêr llawer lli;
Eilwaith 'rwyt ar heolydd
Yn fain rhos, yn fynor rhydd;
Gawr wen im ac utgorn wyt,
A rhi gwlad miragl ydwyt;
Ni ddawr trwy'r byd yr awran
Ond gwrid teg dy gariad tân."

Ar hyn fy arglwydd a drodd,
Ail llif hwyrwynt llefarodd:
"Yn y ddihedd hendre ddu
Gwelais dy drist fygylu;
A gwyliais aethog helynt
Dy gorff llesg is gormes gynt,
A'th serch fel tymestl erchyll
O uthr niwl a chethrin wyll,
A mil o ddu gymylau
Adwyth ag ing wedi'th gau,
Mal eiddig yr ymleddais,
Ac erod, ferch, curiwyd f'ais;
Rhyw isel gur islaw gwerth
Hebot f'ai poen fy aberth.

"Tithau a ddaethost weithion
I'r wlad o wull emrald hon,
Lle 'rwyf fi 'r ôl cyni cyd
Yn dduw pob cain ddyhewyd.

"I'm gwlad fwyn ddiallwynin
Ni ddaw trais na chwerwedd trin;
Canys ysbrydion cynnydd
Elwir i oed fy nheml rydd;
Yno tanllyd ysbryd wyf
A thad pob campwaith ydwyf;
A chyrch llongau'n dyrfâu fil
O dranc y duoer encil
I borth llawen dadeni
Ar amnaid fy enaid i.

"Pob cân anfarwol ganwyd
Ar wefus pob nerfus nwyd,
A brud hen ddiwygwyr bro,
A'u gwronwaith geir yno,
A phob gwae cudd ddatguddir
Yng ngwrid haf di-angred hir.

"Teyrn i'r bau er angau wyf,
A'i godidog hud ydwyf;
Awen ei llên dragywydd,
A'i hoesau aur ynof sydd;
Miliynau'r mellt melynion
I'r bys mau'n fodrwyau drôn;
Ac fel duw di-fraw, llawen,
Adeiniaf fyd y nef wen.

"Er maith sen Prometheus wyf,
Awdur pob deffro ydwyf,
Ar oes well wrth wawrio sydd
Ar dân o'm bri dihenydd."

Ar gw^r glew yno'n tewi,
Nid oedd yn fy enaid i
Onid wyneb a daniwyd
Yn nef pob anfarwol nwyd.
However, I can't find this poem translated into English and I'm not fluent in Welsh to be able to translate it. Suffice it to say, this poem is strongly anti-war and it won the 1917 Eisteddfod Chair for the poet Hedd Wyn who died at Paschendale. I do apologise for not being able to share it with you in English. Also I have noticed that there are a few characters that run something like
this is because in Welsh orthography the ^ would go above the letter but alas the character map doesn't allow for it. If I do find an English translation I'll share it with you.

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Allen Milcic
Posts: 2903
Joined: 09 Sep 2003 20:29
Location: Canada

Post by Allen Milcic » 25 Jun 2004 14:04

Lord Gort wrote: Allen that poem says alot about the thoughts of Croatia, and the plight of small countries. How old is the rivalry between Croats and Serbs?
Hi Lord Gort:

Despite numerous accounts in the western media about a 'centuries old rivalrly' between Serbs and Croats, there really was no direct conflict, or reasons for conflict, until Austria's annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908. The tensions mounted with the creation of the Kingdom of SHS post-WW1, which incorporated Croatia into the Serbian monarchy against the wishes and desires of a great majority of Croatian people. Things went downhill from there...


In memoriam
Posts: 1588
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 01:17
Location: Houston, Texas

Post by walterkaschner » 26 Jun 2004 00:35

I have posted this on another thread on this site long ago, but can't now find reference to it. Hope any bored with the repetition will forgive me - it was my Father's favorite from WWI (he was with the AEF and severely wounded at St. Mihiel):

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air--
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath--
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear . . .
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

By: Allan Seeger
Alan Seeger was a graduate ofn Harvard College (my own Alma Mater) in 1910 - a class mate of T.S. Eliot. He joined the French Foreign Legion in 1914. He kept his rendezvous on July 4, 1916 at Belloy-sur-Santerre.

Regards, Kaschner

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Siegfried Wilhelm
Posts: 744
Joined: 17 Jun 2002 15:19
Location: Kleinkleckersdorf, NC, Confederate States of America

Post by Siegfried Wilhelm » 26 Jun 2004 01:44

This one has always struck a chord with me:

Through the travail of ages,
Midst the pomp and toil of war,
Have I fought and strove and perished,
Countless times upon this star.

So as through a glass, and darkly
The age-long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
Many names---but always me.

So forever in the future,
Shall I battle as of yore,
Dying to be born a fighter,
But to die again, once more.

-Gen. George S. Patton

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Forum Staff
Posts: 3300
Joined: 08 Jul 2003 01:35
Location: Amerika

Post by Vikki » 26 Jun 2004 02:42

A couple of my favorite classic poems about war are already listed here!

But who knew more about war---and poetry---than the Romans?

Excudent alii spirantia mollius aera
(credo equidem), vivos ducent de marmore vultus,
orabunt causus melius, caelique meatus
describent radio et surgentia sidera dicent.
Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento
(hae tibi erunt artes): Pacique imponere morem,
parcere subiectis et debellare superbos.

Other peoples will cast their breathing figures more tenderly in bronze,
Truly, I believe, and draw out of marble more lifelike expressions,
Plead causes better, trace the paths of heaven with wands,
And tell the rising constellations.
But you will rule nations by your strength,
Remember, Roman, these will be your arts:
To pacify, to impose the rule of law,
To spare the defeated, to conquer the proud.

~Virgil, Aeneid

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Lord Gort
Posts: 2014
Joined: 07 Apr 2002 14:44
Location: United Kingdom: The Land of Hope and Glory

Post by Lord Gort » 26 Jun 2004 14:37

Fraulein, Roman and Greeek poets certianly seem to know how to communicate some of the feelings of war, do you have any other ancient war poems?

Siegfried Wilhelm, is that the only poem Patton wrote, and who did he believe he had been in past lives?

Heres my choice poem foe today, written in around 1780.

I HATE that drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To thoughtless youth it pleasure yields,
And lures from cities and from fields,
To sell their liberty for charms
Of tawdry lace, and glittering arms;
And when Ambition's voice commands,
To march, and fight, and fall, in foreign lands.

I hate that drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round;
To me it talks of ravag'd plains,
And burning towns, and ruin'd swains,
And mangled limbs, and dying groans,
And widows' tears, and orphans' moans;
And all that Misery's hand bestows,
To fill the catalogue of human woes.

John Scott of Amwell


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