[Poppy] Dedication [Poppy]

This work is dedicated to Bill Schleihauf - who imagined it, created it and gave it to the world.
22 September 1958 - 27 January 2009
May the blessing and the benediction of heaven be upon our comrade.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

To the memory of those from all nations who served
their Sovereign and Country at sea during the Great War.

Just a Common Sailor

He was getting old and paunchy, and his hair was falling fast;
And he sat around the 'Legion, telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in, and the deeds that he had done.
In his exploits with his buddies, they were heroes, everyone.

And tho' sometimes to his neighbours, his tale became a joke.
All his 'Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer, for Old Bill has passed away;
And the words a little poorer, for a Sailor died today.

He'll not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
for he lived an ordinary, and quite an uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
and the world won't note his passing, though a Sailor died today.

When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
And thousands note their passing, and say that they were great.
Newspapers tell their life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a common Sailor, goes unnoticed and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land,
a person who breaks promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow, who in times of war and strife,
goes off to serve our country, and offers up his life?

It's so easy to forget them, for it was so long ago.
That the "Old Bills" of our country went to battle, but we know.
It was not the politicians, with their compromises and their ploys,
Who won for us our freedom, that are country now enjoys.

He was just a common Sailor, and his ranks are growing thin,
But this presence should remind us, we might need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the Sailor's part.
Is to clean up all the troubles, that others often start.

If we cannot give him the honour, while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage, at the ending of his days.
Perhaps a simple notice in the papers that would say,
our country is in mourning, 'cause a Sailor passed away.

(courtesy of Jerry Proc (jproc@idirect.com) )


Laurence Binyon, 1914.

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up unto immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

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.

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Last Updated: 30 January 2009