This was the Weekly Poetry project for November 4th to November 11th, 2012.
At this time of year, all around the world, we remember the fallen and those who served their countries in time of war and other calamity. This poem reminds us of the dedication of the Red Cross, and the comfort they brought and, together with the Red Crescent, still bring, to the wounded, dying and distressed. John Huston Finley headed the Red Cross Commission in Palestine during the First World War.
http://www.archive.org/download/redcross_spirit_1211_librivox/redcross_finley_rn_64kb.mp3″Running time=2m 16s (mp3@64kb)
Download locations: mp3 128kb : mp3 64kb : ogg vorbis.
Catalogue pages: LibriVox, Internet Archive.
Zip of the entire book (17.1MB@64kb), featuring all 19 readers of this poem, with a total running time of 35m 28s.
In addition to the readers, this audio book was produced by:
Book Coordinator: Ruth Golding
Meta-Coordinator/Cataloging: Ruth Golding
The Red Cross Spirit Speaks
Wherever war, with its red woes,
Or flood, or fire, or famine goes,
There, too, go I;
If earth in any quarter quakes
Or pestilence its ravage makes,
Thither I fly.
I kneel behind the soldier’s trench,
I walk ‘mid shambles’ smear and stench,
The dead I mourn;
I bear the stretcher and I bend
O’er Fritz and Pierre and Jack to mend
What shells have torn.
I go wherever men may dare,
I go wherever woman’s care
And love can live,
Wherever strength and skill can bring
Surcease to human suffering,
Or solace give.
I helped upon Haldora’s shore
With Hospitaller Knights I bore
The first Red Cross;
I was the Lady of the Lamp;
I saw in Solferino’s camp
The crimson loss.
I am your pennies and your pounds;
I am your bodies on their rounds
Of pain afar;
I am you, doing what you would
If you were only where you could —
The cross which on my arm I wear,
The flag which o’er my breast I bear,
Is but the sign
Of what you’d sacrifice for him
Who suffers on the hellish rim
Of war’s red line.
This week’s poem can be found here.