ravenotation

My LibriVox recordings & my reading journal (solo Litblog).

In Memoriam by Ewart Alan Mackintosh

LibriVox logoBritish Legion PoppyLibriVox volunteers bring you 18 recordings of In Memoriam by Ewart Alan Mackintosh (1893-1917). This was the Weekly Poetry project for November 7th – November 14th, 2010.

This week’s poem has been chosen for this time of remembrance. Lieutenant Ewart Alan Mackintosh M.C. was a war poet and an officer in the Seaforth Highlanders. His best poetry has been said to be comparable in quality to that of Rupert Brooke. In 1916 he led a raid in which several of his men were killed, one of whom inspired this poem. Mackintosh was himself killed on 21 November 1917.
http://www.archive.org/download/inmemoriam_1011_librivox/inmemoriam_mackintosh_rn_64kb.mp3″Running time=2m 32s (mp3@64kb)


Download locations: mp3 128kb : mp3 64kb : ogg vorbis.
Catalogue pages: LibriVox, Internet Archive.
Zip of the entire book (18MB@64kb), featuring all the different readers for this project.

In Memoriam
Private D. Sutherland killed in Action in the German Trench, May 16, 1916, and the Others who Died.

So you were David’s father,
And he was your only son,
And the new-cut peats are rotting
And the work is left undone,
Because of an old man weeping,
Just an old man in pain,
For David, his son David,
That will not come again.

Oh, the letters he wrote you,
And I can see them still.
Not a word of the fighting
But just the sheep on the hill
And how you should get the crops in
Ere the year got stormier,
And the Bosches have got his body,
And I was his officer.

You were only David’s father,
But I had fifty sons
When we went up in the evening
Under the arch of the guns,
And we came back at twilight —
O God! I heard them call
To me for help and pity
That could not help at all.

Oh, never will I forget you,
My men that trusted me,
More my sons than your fathers’,
For they could only see
The little helpless babies
And the young men in their pride.
They could not see you dying,
And hold you while you died.

Happy and young and gallant,
They saw their first-born go,
But not the strong limbs broken
And the beautiful men brought low,
The piteous writhing bodies,
The screamed, “Don’t leave me, Sir,”
For they were only your fathers
But I was your officer.

This week’s poem can be found here.

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Author: raven

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