My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,Shakes so my single state of manThat function is smothered in surmise,And nothing is but what is not.
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children, England mourns for her dead across the sea.Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of spirit,Fallen in the cause of the free.Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royalSings sorrow up into immortal spheres.There is music in the midst of desolationAnd a glory that shines upon our tears.They went with songs to the 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 morningWe will remember them.They mingle not with 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 knownAs 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.written as a reaction to the high casualty rates of the British Expeditionary Force at Mons and Le Cateau
Thus, then, on the night of the tenth of May, at the outset of this mighty battle, I acquired the chief power in the State, which henceforth I wielded in ever-growing measure for five years and three months of world war, at the end of which time, all our enemies having surrendered unconditionally or being about to do so, I was immediately dismissed by the British electorate from all further conduct of their affairs.
There must be what Mr. Gladstone many years ago called a blessed act of oblivion. We must all turn our backs upon the horrors of the past. We must look to the future. We cannot afford to drag forward across the years that are to come the hatreds and revenges which have sprung from the injuries of the past.
One woman who managed to corner him, the story runs, said in a treacly gushing voice:Doesnt it thrill you, Mr. Churchill, to know that every time you make a speech the hall is packed to overflowing?It is quite flattering, Mr. Churchill replied, but whenever I feel this way I always remember that if instead of making a political speech I was being hanged, the crowd would be twice as big.
I was very glad that Mr. Attlee described my speeches in the war as expressing the will not only of Parliament but of the whole nation. Their will was resolute and remorseless and, as it proved, unconquerable. It fell to me to express it, and if I found the right words you must remember that I have always earned my living by my pen and by my tongue. It was a nation and race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.