Now the earth has only one language, and the number of its words was small.
. . .
And the Lord said, See, the people is one, and they have all one language, and they are doing this: and now everything which they have in mind to do will be possible for them.
Come, let us go down, and get the words of their language mixed up, so that no one may have knowledge of what the other is saying.
So the Lord sent them away into every part of the earth, and their building was stopped.
For this reason it was named Babel, because there the Lord got the language of all the earth mixed up: and from there the Lord sent them away into every part of the earth.
Now we are fighting in a great war among ourselves, testing if that nation, or any nation of such a birth and with such a history, is able long to keep united. We are together on the field of a great event in that war. We have come to give a part of that field as a last resting-place for those who went to their death so that that nation might go on living. It is in every way right and natural for us to do this. But in a wider sense we have no power to make this place an offering in their name, to give any mark of our respect, any sign of our belief. Those men, living and dead, who had no fear in the fight, have given it a name far greater than our poor power to make additions or to take away. The future will take little note of what we say here; will not long keep it in mind. But what they did here will never go from memory.
It is for us, the living, to give ourselves here to the work which is not ended, which they who were in the fight have taken forward to this point so well. It is for us to give ourselves here to the great work which is still before us, so that from these dead who are in our hearts we may take an increased love ofthe cause for which they gave the last full measure of their love; so that, we may here come to the high decision that these dead will not have given themselves to no purpose; so that this nation,under the Father of All, may have a new birth in the hope to be free; and so that government of all, by all, and for all, may not come to an end on the earth."
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow, this ground -- The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.
It is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Years later, FDR is supposed to have made a joke, "Incidentally, I wonder what he course of history would have been if in May 1940 you had been able to offer the British people only "blood, work, eye-water and face-water"? This shows the difficulty and undesirablity of literal translation or word-for-word substituion. Words achieved by entering into the spirit and intention of them would be more like the above.
Churchill's Original, May 13, 1940 . "I have nothing to offer but, blood, toil, tears and sweat."