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'To fill the gap, to bear the brunt,
Posted by: quadalpha (---.sympatico.ca)
Date: April 02, 2004 08:49PM

To fill the gap, to bear the brunt,
With bayonet and with spade -
Four hundred to a four mile front.
Unbacked and undismayed
What men are these, of what great race,
From which old shire or town
That run with such goodwill,
To face death on a Flemish down?

Does anyone know who wrote that? It sounds like a WW1 poem, but I can seem to find the poet.


Re: 'To fill the gap, to bear the brunt,
Posted by: marian2 (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: April 03, 2004 06:14AM

Someone else is looking for this, too (unless you are Joe Earl of Weston Super Mare) go here:

[www.aftermathww1.com] />
It's possible you could contact him and see if he's had any responses.


Re: 'To fill the gap, to bear the brunt,
Posted by: quadalpha (---.sympatico.ca)
Date: April 03, 2004 11:49AM

Thanks to Les, the poem has been found:


ST.GEORGE'S DAY - YPRES 1915


To fill the gaps, to bear the brunt
With bayonet and with spade,
Four hundred to a four-mile front
Unbacked and undismayed--
What men are these, of what great race,
From what old shire or town,
That run with such goodwill to face
Death on a Flemish down?

Let be! they bind a broken line:
As men die, so die they.
Land of the free! their life was thine,
It is St. George's Day.

Yet say whose ardour bids them stand
At bay by yonder bank,
Where a boy's voice and a boy's hand
Close up the quivering rank,
Who under those all-shattering skies
Plays out his captain's part
With the last darkness in his eyes
And Domum in his heart?

Let be, let be! in yonder line
All names are burned away.
Land of his love! the fame be thine,
It is St. George's Day.


Sir Henry Newbolt


I cannot access [www.aftermathww1.com] at the moment, or I'd share this finding over there too. (And, no, I am not Joe Earl).


Re: 'To fill the gap, to bear the brunt,
Posted by: StephenFryer (---.l1.c1.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: April 03, 2004 05:08PM

You can rest easy, I've sent it to Joe Earl. Thanks.

Stephen


Re: 'To fill the gap, to bear the brunt,
Posted by: StephenFryer (---.l4.c2.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: April 04, 2004 06:05PM

And here's his reply:
'Thank you for sending Henry Newbolt`s Poem - you have made a very old man next door very happy - thanks and best regards - Capt. J.S.Earl'

Stephen


Re: 'To fill the gap, to bear the brunt,
Posted by: Henry (213.78.162.---)
Date: April 04, 2004 07:07PM

Sir Henry appears to be the same poet as Sir John Newbolt, of Vitai Lampada and Drake's Drum fame. I didn't realise he was such a recent poet.

[www.fact-index.com] /> Sir Henry John Newbolt (June 6, 1862 - 1938) was an English author. He was the son of HF Newbolt, vicar of St Mary's, Bilston, Staffordshire (where he was born). He was educated at Clifton College, where he was head of the school in 1881 and edited the school magazine, and at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1887 and practised until 1899. His first book was a story, Taken from the Enemy (1892), and in 1895 he published a tragedy, Mordred; but it was the publication of his ballads, Admirals All (1897), that created his literary reputation. These were followed by other volumes of stirring verse, The Island Race (1898), The Sailing of the Long-ships (1902), Songs of the Sea (1904).

Probably the best known of all Newbolt's poems and the one for which he is now chiefly remembered is Vitae Lampada, which contains the memorable refrain: Play up, play up, and play the game.

[www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk] /> Soon after the outbreak of the First World War, Newbolt was recruited by Charles Masterman, the head of Britain's War Propaganda Bureau (WPcool smiley, to help shape public opinion. Newbolt, who was controller of telecommunications during the war, also published The Naval History of the Great War (1920). He was knighted in 1915 and awarded the Companion of Honour in 1922.


Re: 'To fill the gap, to bear the brunt,
Posted by: quadalpha (---.sympatico.ca)
Date: April 04, 2004 09:33PM

Thanks for the bio, and thank les for digging up that poem.




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