• A Carol from Flanders by Frederick Niven (1878-1944)


    Above, “The Christmas Truce 1914, by artist Soren Hawkes.
    Source: https://pixels.com/featured/the-christmas-truce-1914-soren-hawkes.html
    Christmas is (or should be) a time of peace and goodwill towards all men (included women and others). This poem recounts the famous spontaneous 1914 Christmas Truce along the lines of the Western front:
    In Flanders on the Christmas morn
    The trenched foemen lay,
    the German and the Briton born,
    And it was Christmas Day.

    The red sun rose on fields accursed,
    The grey fog fled away;
    But neither cared to fire the first,
    For it was Christmas Day!

    They called from each to each across
    The hideous disarray,
    For terrible has been their loss:
    “Oh, this is Christmas Day!”

    Their rifles all they set aside,
    One impulse to obey;
    ‘Twas just the men on either side,
    Just men — and Christmas Day.

    They dug the graves for all their dead
    And over them did pray:
    And Englishmen and Germans said:
    “How strange a Christmas Day!”

    Between the trenches then they met,
    Shook hands, and e’en did play
    At games on which their hearts were set
    On happy Christmas Day.

    Not all the emperors and kings,
    Financiers and they
    Who rule us could prevent these things —
    For it was Christmas Day.

    Oh ye who read this truthful rime
    From Flanders, kneel and say:
    God speed the time when every day
    Shall be as Christmas Day.

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