The Thames And The Rhine
This poem, written by my late father, has recently come to light. His father was from Germany, and his eldest brother was killed in the First World War (fighting for the British) so he may have been thinking of his own mother.
The family lived in Stratford (county of West Ham), later Forest Gate, London.
Valerie Stemp, ex-member
THE THAMES & THE RHINE
Two babes were born one happy morn,
They came with love divine;
And a mother smiled by the River Thames,
And a mother smiled by the Rhine.
These children grew, so brave and true,
Each mother said ‘How fine!’
And hearts were glad by the River Thames
And hearts were glad by the Rhine.
But one sad day, so people say,
Their rulers tried to shine;
And one lad heard the call by the Thames
And another the call by the Rhine.
Two brave sons they raised their guns,
As they marched in martial line;
And a mother sighed by the River Thames
And a mother sighed by the Rhine.
On the battle plain, where the bullets rain,
These lads formed into line;
And hearts were said by the River Thames
And hearts were sad by the Rhine.
They took their sight in the bitter fight,
Their aim was really fine;
And a mother prayed by the River Thames
And a mother prayed by the Rhine.
Two noble sons fell by their guns,
Their names in glory shine;
And a mother weeps by the River Thames
And a mother weeps by the Rhine.
So the Thames so fine and River Rhine
Flow into the same great sea;
And they seem to say as they kiss the spray:-
‘If men were as wise as we’.
Mr Sidney James Williams