LibriVox volunteers bring you 9 recordings of:
“Better Far to Pass Away” by Richard Molesworth Dennys (1884-1916)
This was the fortnightly poetry project for October 20th to November 3rd, 2013.
At this time of year, we dedicate the Fortnightly Poetry project to the fallen in war. This poem, written at a time when the average life expectancy of an officer at the front was a mere six weeks, vividly demonstrates a young officer’s expectation and acceptance of his own death.
(Summary by Ruth Golding)
This project is catalogued at:
LibriVox and Internet Archive.
The poem text can also be found at this address.
My recording of this fortnight’s poem has a running time of 2m 5s.
You can listen to it now, by clicking the following play button;
The entire project, featuring all readers of this week’s poem, is also available at this link.
The zip file size is 9MB with a total running time of 18m 45s.
All the files contained inside the zip are mp3, all with a bitrate of 64kb.
Book Coordinator:Ruth Golding
Meta Coordinator:Ruth Golding
Proof Listener:Ruth Golding
Better Far to Pass Away
Better far to pass away
While the limbs are strong and young,
Ere the ending of the day,
Ere youth’s lusty song be sung.
Hot blood pulsing through the veins,
Youth’s high hope a burning fire,
Young men needs must break the chains
That hold them from their hearts’ desire.
My friends the hills, the sea, the sun,
The winds, the woods, the clouds, the trees —
How feebly, if my youth were done,
Could I, an old man, relish these!
With laughter, then, I’ll go to greet
What Fate has still in store for me,
And welcome Death if we should meet,
And bear him willing company.
My share of fourscore years and ten
I’ll gladly yield to any man,
And take no thought of “where” or “when,”
Contented with my shorter span.
For I have learned what love may be,
And found a heart that understands,
And known a comrade’s constancy,
And felt the grip of friendly hands.
Come when it may, the stern decree
For me to leave the cheery throng
And quit the sturdy company
Of brothers that I work among.
No need for me to look askance,
Since no regret my prospect mars.
My day was happy and perchance
The coming night is full of stars.