David Harris

(18 June 1945 / Bradfield, England)

Angels Of Mons


It was late August 1914,
for two days the British Expeditionary Force
largely outnumbered fought the German forces
in the first major engagement at Mons.
Despite suffering large casualties
they managed to push the Germans back,
but now they were out flanked
and a retreat was ordered.
Slowly they moved back towards
the safety of their own lines still fighting in retreat.

An eerie silence fell over the carnage,
looking back several of us were astonished
to see a line of long bow archers
firing arrows afters arrows
keeping the Germans at bay
as we made our retreat.
Alongside the Bowmen stood a Knight
with his sword drawn he shouted orders
as they rained arrows down on the Germans,
covering our escape to safety.

Out of no man’s land we rested
in the safety of our trenches.
We lit cigarettes and spoke quietly
of the line of Long Bowmen
who covered our retreat.
Who were they and the Knight
and where had they come from?
The eerie silence slowly dissipated
leaving only soft moans drifting across
the vast no man’s land of the battlefield.
The story of the Angels of Mons was born.

Back in England
the story spread like wildfire
as churches took it up as a symbol
that God had sent down Angels
to protect the British troops.
Pamphlets were printed about the story
and given to parishioners to fuel the hysteria
about the supernatural events that happened at Mons.

Author’s Note:
Stanza one and four are true, but two and three are fiction. The story of the Bowmen was a work of fiction written by Arthur Machen. Machen was a war correspondent at the time and a writer of supernatural tales. Looking back you can see why his short tale of The Bowmen could well have been believed fact.
Even today in some true ghost stories the tale about Angels of Mons is sometimes included. However, there is no correspondence from the soldiers from the front writing home ever mentioned it. For years Machen always maintained it was a story of fiction. As I writer I have often had readers believing my muses as true.

13 March 2014

Submitted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Edited: Thursday, March 20, 2014

Topic(s): war


Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Angels Of Mons by David Harris )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Fate's Violin, Arno Le Roux
  2. The Keepers Of Paris, Arno Le Roux
  3. A Secret Room, Arno Le Roux
  4. The Drug That Is Time, Arno Le Roux
  5. Random life!, SALINI NAIR
  6. Secret Music, Arno Le Roux
  7. My Weird Looks, Rohit Sapra
  8. The Way I Feel About Love, Rohit Sapra
  9. Abandoned, Tony Adah
  10. Lace and More, Arno Le Roux

Poem of the Day

poet Robert William Service

Just Home and Love! the words are small
Four little letters unto each;
And yet you will not find in all
The wide and gracious range of speech
Two more so tenderly complete:
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Paul Muldoon

 

Trending Poems

  1. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Being With You, Heather Burns
  4. On the Pulse of Morning, Maya Angelou
  5. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  6. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  7. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. If, Rudyard Kipling
  10. Home And Love, Robert William Service

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]