"Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn."
This quotation comes from the author's 7-verse poem For the Fallen, honouring the British war dead of World War I and published in The Times newspaper in September 1914. The fourth and sometimes third verses are today recited at memorial services in many countries. Lines from the fourth verse also emblazon many war memorials. There is some debate as to whether the last word of this quote should be "condemn" or "contemn". It is suggested that the use of "condemn" was a misprint when the poem was first published. However, if this were the case the author would have had the opportunity to correct the mistake in later printings, which he appears never to have done. Nevertheless the argument rages, and both words have their place and beauty within the context of the poem.
Laurence Binyon (1869-1943) English poet and dramatist
condemn (verb): force (someone) to endure something unpleasant
contemn (verb): treat with contempt; despise
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Contributor: Josef Essberger