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Patriotic pieces from the Great War/Harvest in Flanders

< Patriotic pieces from the Great War

HARVEST IN FLANDERS

In Flanders' fields the crosses stand—
Strange harvest for a fertile land!
Where once the wheat and barley grew,
With scarlet poppies running through.
This year the poppies bloom to greet
Not oats nor barley nor white wheat,
But only crosses, row by row,
Where stalwart reapers used to go.


In Flanders' fields no women sing,
As once they sang, at harvesting;
No men now come with scythes to mow
The little crosses, row by row.
The poppies wonder why the men
And women do not come again!


In Flanders, at the wind's footfall,
The crosses do not bend at all,
As wheat and barley used to do
Whenever wind went running through.
The poppies wonder when they see
The crosses stand so rigidly!


O God, to whom all men must bring
What they have done for reckoning,
At harvest-time what byre or bin
Have you to put these crosses in?
What word for men who marched to sow
Not wheat, but crosses, row by row?


Alas! Our tears can never bring
The men who came here harvesting
And come no more! We do not know
What way the singing women go,
Their songs all still! But crosses stand
Row after row in Flanders land!