Does this mostly forgotten verse evoke any memories? They went with songs to the battle, they were young. Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow. They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted; They fell with their faces to the foe. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.
There was a time when most English-speaking people, especially in the British Commonwealth, would recognize this in a heartbeat. But today, few do; even fewer people are aware of the outpouring of national emotion that accompanied the poem’s first publication in September 1914—as tens of thousands of Allied soldiers died defending Paris during the Battle of the Marne.