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The Poem from “Skyfall”

posted by Nell Minow

M (Judi Dench) quotes a stirring passage from “Ulysses,” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in the new James Bond movie, “Skyfall.”

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.



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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Paul Ray

    In Memory Of Our Heroes

    I placed my hands on a gravestone
    Of a soldier down a white line;
    Who had died in the heat of battle
    In “Operation Watch on the Rhine.”

    I saw where etched in the marble
    His soul was committed to God;
    A hero of men and all nations
    Now resting in peace under sod.

    A flood of tears came o’er me
    As I saw him rush in the snow;
    From a foxhole close to Bastogne
    With a wind chill near fifteen below.

    There he was with no thought of peril
    Covering ground in ice and the mire;
    With grenades he took out some gunmen
    And machine guns with heavy fire.

    But then a Tiger tank bellowed
    That blasted the snow through the wind;
    And as the snow dust had settled
    All knew it was this man’s end.

    There I stood in awe of his valor
    There I wept while moved by his grit;
    For I knew he never once cowered
    As he fought with honor through it.

    Then I looked at all the white crosses
    That had lined the fields and the hills;
    Of the heroes lost in their battles
    That gave up their wants and their wills.

    So to all who’ve served our great nation
    Both enlisted and the veterans, too;
    For the duty and way that you serve us
    I respect and salute all of you.

    By Paul Ray

    • Nell Minow

      A beautiful tribute, Mr. Ray. Many thanks.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment John

    SPOILER ALERT: Dame Judi Dench is the one of the most respected (and most beautiful) actresses of modern times. I’ll be honest, I started to tear up a bit during that scene in which she was reciting the poem, as I just knew that something was bound to happen to her character once I saw Bond desperately trying to get back to the courthouse (or Parliament). Fortunately, her character survives beyond the Parliament scene….that is up until the very end. Sad to see her leave the Bond franchise after so many years as “M”, but I have a feeling that maybe her macular degeneration had something to do with her character’s swan song in this film. Seems as if the Bond producers have decided to hit the “reset button” in terms of a storyline now, with a new male “M”, complete with retro office, and, surprisingly black “Moneypenny” (with again, a retro office setting), while all the same not saying anything is wrong with that. I thought the movie was pretty good, much better than the last excuse of a Bond film, QoS. for I’m sure that’s one film those involved in the franchise would like to forget, other than On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, unto which to this day I still can’t figure out why so many people love such a film.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Robert Closson

    Perfect.

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