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Eleven:Eleven (Words, Garnet Rogers; tune, "Derwentwater's Farewell.") Ah, the glorious few are all the fewer here In the cold November air. The crowd draws silent, their collars raised, To the edges of the square. The children's choir sings "In Flanders Fields." The band plays "Over There." The old heroes still try to dress the line As the chaplain leads the prayer. For the glorious few no longer stand so straight As they did long years before, When they faced a hard and cruel fate On a far and distant shore, Their tunics faded green and blue, Poor shelter from the cold, The memories made yet raw and new At the calling of the roll. The heads are bowed in silence now At the tolling of the hour. The first few falling flakes of snow Drift gently on the flowers All piled and stacked against the stones, Petals fluttering in the air. The eyes that stare down through the years At the one no longer there. The taste of lost and wasted years So bitter on the tongue, White breath in clouds in the autumn cold, Frail chests with medals hung In battle ribbons red and gold In the pale November sun, The hands and faces grown so old, While the heart stays ever young. For the glorious few are all the fewer here The old soldiers form the square The wind blows hard and shakes the leaves And stirs the thin white hair Of these fading brave and fragile souls As the bugler plays "Last Post" The snow falls thick and faster still And turns them white as ghosts. Words, Garnet Rogers; tune, "Derwentwater's Farewell." The title refers to the eleventh day of November. Copyright Garnet Rogers XX July01
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!