Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets
In the Day of Battle: Poems of the Great War
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[3 blank pages]

In the Day of Battle
POEMS OF THE GREAT WAR
SELECTED BY
CARRIE ELLEN HOLMAN
THIRD EDITION
TORONTO
WILLIAM BRIGGS
1918
[unnumbered page]

   All the profits from the sale of this edition will be sent to Lady Drummond for the King George and Queen Mary Maple Leaf Clubs.  The sale of the first and second editions has resulted in substantial contribution to these clubs whose popularity is evidence of the important place they fill in the life of Canadian soldiers on leave in London.

Copyright, Canada, 1916, by
CARRIE ELLEN HOLMAN [unnumbered page]

HUMBLY DEDICATED TO THE
MEN FROM THE NORTH, SOUTH,
EAST AND WEST WHO HAVE
HASTENED TO “RAISE THE
TRUMPET FROM THE DUST,”
AND TO THE BRAVE WOMEN
WHO HAVE MADE THE
SUPREME SACRIFICE IN THE
TIME OF THE EMPIRE’S
URGENT NEED . . . . . . . . . .
[unnumbered page]

NOTE TO THIRD EDITION


Repeatedly during the last year, when our courage may have become faint and our vision dimmed, there has come to us from the Front, insistent as a bugle call, the voice of the Soldier Poet, proclaiming, not so much the glories of war as a realization of the high spiritual significance of his task and a conviction, virile and certain, that

          “We who have seen men broken
          We know man is divine,”

Through the fine resolve and clarity of vision we also sometimes hear the note of yearning for “the familiar hill,” seen in his “wounded dreams of home.”

In this third edition of “In the Day of Battle,” for which the compiler bespeaks the same generous reception as was accorded the preceding editions, the reader will find a few additional poems in which those notes of high courage and pathos appear dominant, sometimes in separate poems, but often blended in one.  In many cases permission to use these poems has been kindly granted by the near relatives of men who have fallen in the fight.

The uniform courtesy of both authors and publishers has made available many new poems for the book, including some of the finest sea sons in our own or any other language.  Many of these poems envisage for us the spirit and meaning of those tragic times; most of them are instinct with the emotion and fervour which only great national crises can evoke.

The work of collecting these war poems, though arduous, will have brought its full reward if they only bring a ray of solace and comfort to hearts sorely stricken by this “tragedy of a world at strife.”

CARRIE ELLEN HOLMAN

   Prince Edward Island,

June, 1918 [unnumbered page]

FOREWORD


AMONG the books inspired by the war, few need less apology than those of which this little volume is representative, compilations of the more or less fugitive verse appearing in journals, celebrating various stages of the struggle, and then perhaps carried off into oblivion by some wind of great events.  A compilation captures the winged words and treasures them.  It deserves to have an honoured place in the long array of more formidable volumes, for it is undeniable that among the minor results of the Great War is a vast output of war literature.  Volumes of history theory and prophecy weigh down our shelves, pamphlets cover our tables “thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks in Vallombrosa.”  Among these latter is one on Poetry and War by the Professor of Poetry at Oxford, Sir Herbert Warren, and at the head of this paper we find the suggestive old lines of Samuel Daniel:

                    What good is like to this—
          To do worthy the writing, and to write
          Worthy the reading and the world’s delight?

It is a good motto and sets us thinking of one aspect of this extraordinary epoch of which the end if not yet, namely the relation of its literature to its action.  Of deeds worthy the writing we have no lack, of writing [page 3] to match those deeds we have quantity indeed, but how much of it will long be held worthy the reading and the world’s delight?

The question must remain as yet unsettled.  Here, as in other sections of the huge historic field, there has been controversy.  Most of the critics who have considered the poetry of the war have expressed something less than enthusiasm.  A learned writer in the Times tries to account for the lack of first-rate quality by saying that the time is not yet ripe for poetical expression.  His text is Wordsowrth’s famous saying that poetry is “Emotion recollected in tranquility.”  It sounds a plausible theory, but close upon its publication comes the keen utterance of Mr. Punch, prompt to put his finger upon a fallacy.  “Of course war sons are never written during the white heat of war time,” says, in effect, this clear-eyed satirist; “that is why the Marseillaise has never been produced.”

We who are readers and not writers may well leave theories alone and ponder thankfully the verse which the war period has produced and is still producing.  And for such pondering the present volume gives us much material, put before us in convenient and attractive form.  Many of its pieces will certainly live in the popular memory long after the war, and some few will be enshrined in the treasuries of national literature, side by side with the immortal songs of old.

It is undeniable that there are aspects of this colossal strife to which no poet has as yet done justice.  It would need a giant of poesy to rise to the height of its great argument.  Not to mention innumerable exploits worthy of Shakesperian treatment, the great drama [page 4] perpetually playing in the air yet fails of adequate presentation in poetic words.  The moral issues have drawn much ink, yet it can hardly be said that the inevitable word has been uttered.  Belgium and France, Serbia and Poland have had melodious tears shed for their blood-drenched fields, yet they wait for a mourner whose passionate lament shall cry to heaven and sound through the ages like Milton’s for the piedmontese.

It is worthy of note that some of the finest of the war pieces are not those which voice the bugle note of actual conflict, but those which sound the deeper chord of that intense and ideal patriotism which alone can justify war.  In the lyrics of Alfred Noyes, the glorious sonnets of Rupert Brooke, and in the verse of many a humbler rhymster there breathes the same ideal.  England and Truth, England and Humanity, England and Freedom—these are great battle-cries, and it is well for us that they should be set to music once again.

This little book comes from a Canadian publishing house for circulation in Canada.  Some few of the pieces are by Canadian writers.  In its way it may symbolize the part which Canada has been privileged to play in the tremendous drama.  Gorgeous tragedy with sceptred pall has come sweeping by once more, through a world which was becoming forgetful of her power, and into her train she has swept us all.  From peaceful Canadian farms and mines and cities and villages she has drawn her followers, and many of them she will never permit to return.

That bitter sentence, “never to return,” is so branded into the consciousness of many of us to-day that it is [page 5] difficult to see beyond it.  Yet it must not be the last thought of those who work or wait, nor will it be the last word of the war poets.  Canada, which heard some harsh criticism, of her sons in the early days of warfare, now listens with sorrowful pride while friend and enemy tell her that they know how to die.  Canada, smarting under the humiliating knowledge that her domestic history is not free from corrupting stains, may well find a new inspiration giving promise of a fairer day in the deeds of her battalions abroad.  With undying pride the country must now cherish the memory of that shining army of youths who will never be old, who at the call of a cause and under the ancient banners of their race, “poured out the red sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be of hope and joy.”

And the task is still unfinished, and others must follow where they have led.  A Canadian poet voices their solemn charge:”

          Take up our quarrel with the foe:
          To you from failing hands we throw
          The torch; be yours to hold it high.
          If ye break faith with us who die
          We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
                    In Flanders fields.

In the tragic procession of events since the first edition of this little book appeared is one which has brought special sorrow to Canada.  The poet of “In Flanders Fields” has joined that band in which he enrolled himself prophetically in his phrase, “We are the Dead.”

SUSAN E. CAMERON.

Royal Victoria College,

McGill University. [page 6]

CONTENTS.


AUTHOR. TITLE. PAGE.

A, H.

A Flemish Village

77

Alexander, Eleanor

Who Sleeps?

161

Alexander, William

Is War the Only Thing?

153

Archer, E. Margaret DuP.

Sorrow

127

Asquith, Herbert

The Volunteer

60

   “          “

The Fallen Subaltern

58

Atkinson, Elmina

Gray Gauntlet

130

 

Bainbridge, Stella M.

In Memory of Lieut.-Col. John McCrae

214

Begbie, Harold

Fall In!

30

Bidwell, Edward J.

In Memory

176

Binyon, Lawrence

To Women

125

   “          “

The Dead to the Living

142

Booth, Mary

The Women of Belgium to the Women of England

24

Botrel, Théodore

Sonnez! Clairons!

49

  “          “

Voilà les “Kakis”

50

   “          “

Vas-Y, Mon Homme!

136

Brody, Alter

I Am War

98

   “          “

The Ballad of the Iron Cross

101

Brooke, Rupert

The Soldier

54

   “          “

Peace

55

   “          “

The Dead

55

Burr, Amelia Josephine

Kitchener’s March

19

Burnet Dana

The Gun-Boat

32

   “          “

The Battle of Liège

204

[page 7]

Commaerts, Emile, translated by Lord Curzon

The Belgian Flag

23

   “          “

The Flight into England

79

   “          “

The Blind Man and His Son

80

Chappell, Henry

The Day

85

Chesterson, G. K.

The Wife of Flanders

141

Clark, Dudley

Called Up

33

Coates, Florence Earle

The New Mars

105

Coleman, Helena

In France’s Flowered Fields

123

   “          “

Country of Mine

215

Crewe, Lord

A Grave in Flanders

65

 

Duffin, Ruth

The Woman’s Toll

126

Dodd, Lee Wilson

A Little Grimy-Fingered Girl

122

 

E., A.

Gods of War

106

Ewer, W. N.

Five Souls

112

 

Fagan, James Bernard

The Man in the Trench

42

Finch, Lucine

Two on the Battlefield

115

Fox-Smith, C.

The Orion’s Figurehead at Whitehall

27

   “          “

The Younger Son

34

   “          “

The Mouth Organ

53

Frankau, Gilbert

Ammunition Column

99

Freston, H. R.

On Going Into Action

52

 

Gibson, Wilfrid Wilson

The Messages

44

   “          “

Breakfast

45

   “          “

The Return

45

   “          “

To the Memory of Rupert Brooke

46

   “          “

Hit

46

   “          “

The Father

47

[page 8]

Glasgow, Mrs. Robertson

Dulce et Decorum

57

Grayy, Agnes Kendrick

Resurgam

25

   “          “

Flowering Thorn

146

Glaenzer, Richard Butler

Soldier’s Song

86

   “          “

Vive la France!

176

Grenfell, Julian

Into Battle

166

 

H., M. B.

Crocuses in Nottingham

182

Hagedorn, Hermann

The Pyres

96

Hamilton, Cicely

Non-Combatant

36

Hickson, A. Beatrice

Onward

166

Haskins, M. L.

Women to Men

133

Higginson, Mary Thacher

Germany, My Germany

114

Herford, C. H.

Towards the Morning

117

Hewlett, Maurice

For Two Voices

121

   “          “

Soldier, Soldier

132

Honeyman, Elspeth

Out There

222

 

Kaufman, Herbert

The Hell-gate of Scissons

218

Kilmer, Joyce

The New School

40

Kipling, Rudyard

For All We Have and Are

168

   “          “

A Nativity

170

   “          “

Fate’s Discourtesy

195

 

Le Gallienne, Richard

To Belgium

74

Leonard, G. H.

Four Things I Ask

77

Letts, W. M.

The Spires of Oxford

26

Livesay, Florence Randal

The Deserter

212

   “          “

The Sound of the Crying

212

Lulham, Habberton

His Only Way

37

Lysaght, S. R.

Our Submarines

192

 

McCrae, John

In Flanders Fields

61

   “          “

The Anxious Dead

213

MacKay, Helen

The Long Dead

56

   “          “

Keeper

82

   “          “

Courtesan

134

[page 9]

Mackaye, Percy

A Prayer of the Peoples

143

   “          “

Marching with Papa Joffre

173

Maitland, F. E.

Resolve

152

Milne, J. Napier

Laurel and the Cypress

126

Morgan, R. R.

To Lessing

111

Morley, Christopher

Kitchener

65

 

Naidu, Sarogini

India to England

159

Newbolt, Sir Henry

The Vigil

15

Noyes, Alfred

The Searchlights

29

   “          “

Forward

108

   “          “

The Heart of Canada

160

   “          “

Epilogue

162

   “          “

Kilmeny

193

 

O’Connor, Armel

The Word

47

O’Rourke, May

In England

183

Owen, Everard

Three Hills

73

Oxenham, John

What Did You See Out There, My Lad?

216

 

Phillips, Stephen

Revenge for Rheims

78

   “          “

The Kaiser and Belgium

95

Pickthall, Marjorie, L.C.

Canada to England

13

   “          “

Casualty Lists

221

Peterson, Margaret

The Roll of Honour

60

Peabody, Josephine Preston

The Harvest Moon

120

   “          “

Pièta

138

Pulsifer, Harold Townbridge

America to France and Great Britain

147

   “          “

The Strong Young Eagles

196

 

Rownsley, H. D.

In Memoriam, Lieut. Sachs

59

   “          “

To Great Britain

150

Renshaw, C. A.

The Lure of England

62

   “          “

“Killed in Action,” April, 1916

70

[page 10]

Robinson, W. Fothergill

The Harvesting

158

Rostrevor, George

A Soldier’s Portrait

171

 

S., E. D.

A Skylark Behind the Trenches

68

Sackville, Margaret

Quo  Vaditis?

117

   “          “

Home Again

128

Sandford, E. T.

At Bethlehem, 1915

69

Scollard, Clinton

In France, 1914

124

Scott, Frederick George

The Silent Toast

177

   “          “

Yuletide in France

178

Scollard, Clinton

Out of Rome

82

   “          “

At the Golden Horn

94

   “          “

Luther

111

Seaman, Sir Owen

To the Memory of Field-Marshal Earl Roberts

17

   “          “

Pro Patria

20

   “          “

To One Who Takes His Ease

39

   “          “

A Cure for Depression

83

   “          “

Truthful Willie

92

   “          “

Between Midnight and Morning

145

Seeger, Alan

I Have a Rendezvous with Death

172

Service, Robert W.

The Lark

48

   “          “

Fleurette

208

Shakespeare, W. G.

The Refugees

74

Smith, Marion Couthouy

Belgium

22

   “          “

Sainte Jeanne of France, 1915

149

   “          “

By Order of the People

151

   “          “

A Thanksgiving

156

[page 11]

Sorley, Charles Hamilton

All the Hills and Vales Along

180

 

Tallents, S. G.

Wounded

63

Tagore, Robindranath

The Trumpet

14

Tennant, E. Wyndham

Home Thoughts from Laventie

185

Thorley, Wilfrid

The Lint

118

Turner, M. C. Lieut. Jack

The Rag-Time Army

197

   “          “

No Man’s Land

200

   “          “

Over the Wall

202

 

V., R.

A. B. V.

67

Van Dyke, Henry

Stain Not the Sky

109

   “          “

The Name of France

148

Vernède, R. E.

To C. H. V.

187

   “          “

Before the Assault

187

   “          “

England to the Sea

189

   “          “

The Sea is His

191

 

W., L.

Christ in Flanders

75

Webb, Mary

The Lad Out There

131

Wharton, Edith

Battle Sleep

64

Widdemer, Margaret

The Old Road to Paradise

72

Woodberry, C. E.

Edith Cavell

66

Wyatt, Horace

The Place Was Basking in the Sun

87

   “          “

You Are Old, Father William

90

   “          “

How Doth the German Press Bureau

136

   “          “

Result of Great (Blank-Dash) Attack

223

[page 12]

IN THE DAY OF BATTLE


 CANADA TO ENGLAND.

GREAT names of thy great captains gone before
Beat with our blood, who have that blood of thee:
Raleigh and Grenville, Wolfe, and all the free,
Fine souls who dared to front a world in war.
Such only may outreach the envious years,
Where feebler crowns and fainter stars remove;
Nurtured in one remembrance and one love,
Too high for passion and too stern for tears.

O!  little isle our fathers held for home,
Not, not alone thy standards and thy hosts
Lead where thy sons shall follow, Mother Land:
Quick as the north wind, ardent as the foam,
Behold, behold the invulnerable ghosts
Of all past greatnesses about thee stand.

                                   Marjorie L. C. Pickthall.

The Times. [page 13]


 THE TRUMPET.

THY trumpet lies in the dust,
The wind is weary, the light is dead.  Ah, the evil day!
Come, fighters, carrying your flags, and singers with your songs!
Come, pilgrims, hurrying on your journey!
The trumpet lies in the dust waiting for us.

I was on the way to the temple with my evening offerings,
Seeking for the heaven of rest after the day’s dusty toil;
Hoping my hurts would be healed and stains in my garments washed white,
When I found thy trumpet lying in the dust.

Has it not been the time for me to light my lamp?
Has the evening not come to bring me sleep?
O, thou blood-red rose, where have my poppies faded?
I was certain my wanderings were over and my debts all paid,
When suddenly I came upon thy trumpet lying in the dust.

Strike my drowsy heart with thy spell of youth!
Let my joy in life blaze up in fire.
Let the shafts of awakening fly, piercing the heart of night, and a thrill of dread shake the palsied 
          blindness,
I have come to raise thy trumpet from the dust. [page 14]

Sleep is no more for me—my walk shall be through showers of arrows.
Some shall run out of their houses and come to my side—some shall weep,
Some in their beds shall toss and groan in dire dreams:
For to-night thy trumpet shall be sounded.

From thee I had asked peace, only to find shame.
Now I stand before thee—help me to don my armour!
Let hard blows of trouble strike fire into my life.
Let my heart beat in pain—beating the drum of thy victory.
My hands shall be utterly emptied to take up thy trumpet.

                                                             Rabindranath Tagore.

The Times.


 THE VIGIL.

ENGLAND!  where the sacred flame
   Burns before the inmost shrine,
Where the lips that love thy name
   Consecrate their hopes and thine;
Where the banners of thy dead
Weave their shadows overhead,
Watch beside thine arms to-night,
Pray that God defend the Right.

Think that when to-morrow comes
   War shall claim command of all,
Thou must hear the roll of drums,
   Thou must hear the trumpet’s call. [page 15]
Now, before they silence ruth,
Commune with the voice of truth;
England!  on thy knees to-night
Pray that God defend the Right.

Hast thou counted up the cost,
   What to foeman, what to friend?
Glory sought is Honour lost,
   How should this be knighthood’s end?
Knowst thou what is Hatred’s meed?
What the surest gain of Greed?
England!  wilt thou dare to-night
Pray that God defend the Right?

Single-hearted, unafraid,
   Hither all thy heroes came;
On this altar’s steps were laid
   Gordon’s life and Outram’s fame.
England!  if thy will be yet
By their great example set,
Here beside thine arms to-night
Pray that God defend the Right.

So shalt thou, when morning comes,
   Rise to conquer or to fall;
Joyful hear the rolling drums,
   Joyful hear the trumpet call.
Then let Memory tell thy heart:
“England!  what thou wert thou art!”
Gird thee with thy ancient might,
Forth!  and God defend the Right!

                        Sir Henry Newbolt. [page 16]


 TO THE MEMORY OF FIELD MARSHAL EARL ROBERTS,

OF KANDAHAR AND PETORIA.

 (Born 1832.  Died on service at the Front, November 14th, 1914.)

HE died as soldiers die, amid the strife,
   Mindful of England in his latest prayer;
God, of His love, would have so fair a life
         Crowned with a death as fair.

He might not lead the battle as of old,
   But, as of old, among his own he went,
Breathing a faith that never once grew cold,
         A courage still unspent.

So was his end; and, in that hour, across
   The face of War a wind of silence blew;
And bitterest foes paid tribute to the loss
         Of a great heart and true.

But we who loved him, what have we to lay
   For sign of worship on his warrior-bier?
What homage, could his lips but speak to-day,
         Would he have held most dear?

Not grief, as for a life untimely reft;
   Not vain regret for counsel given in vain;
Not pride of that high record he has left,
         Peerless and pure of stain; [page 17]

But service of our lives to keep her free,
   The land he served; a pledge above his grave
To give her even such a gift as he,
         The soul of loyalty, gave.

That oath we plight, as now the trumpets swell
   His requiem, and the men-at-arms stand mute,
And through the mist the guns he loved so well
         Thunder a last salute!

                                                Sir Owen Seaman.

By special permission of Punch.

 TO THE MEMORY OF FIELD-MARSHAL EARL KITCHENER.

 (Born June 24th, 1850.  Died on service, June 5th, 1916.)

SOLDIER of England, you who served her well
   And in that service, silent and apart,
Achieved a name that never lost its spell
         Over your country’s heart;—

Who saw your work accomplished ere at length
   Shadows of evening fell, and creeping Time
Had bent your stature or resolved the strength
          That kept its manhood’s prime;—

Great was your life, and great the end you made,
   As through the plunging seas that whelmed your head
Your spirit passed, unconquered, unafraid,
         To join the gallant dead. [page 18]

But not by death that spell could pass away
   That fixed our gaze upon the far-off goal,
Who, by your magic, stand in arms to-day
         A nation one and whole,

Now doubly pledged to bring your vision true
   Of darkness vanquished and the dawn set free,
In that full triumph which your faith foreknew
         But might not live to see.

                                                           Sir Owen Seaman.

By special permission of Punch. 


 KITCHENER’S MARCH.

NOT the muffled drums for him,
   Nor the wailing of the fife.
Trumpets blaring to the charge
   Were the music of his life.
Let the music of his death
   Be the feet of marching men.
Let this heart a thousandfold
   Take the field again!

Of his patience, of his calm,
   Of his quiet faithfulness,
England, raise your hero’s cairn!
   He is worthy of no less.
Stone by stone, in silence laid,
   Singly, surely, let it grow.
He whose living was to serve
   Would have had it so. [page 19]

There’s a body drifting down
   For the mighty sea to keep.
There’s a spirit cannot die
   While a heart is left to leap
In the land he gave his all,
   Steel alike to praise and hate.
He has saved the life he spent—
   Death has struck too late.

Not the muffled drums for him,
   Nor the wailing of the fife.
Trumpets blaring to the charge
   Were the music of his life.
Let the music of his death
   Be the feet of marching men.
Let his heart a thousandfold
   Take the field again!

                         Amelia Josephine Burr.

Reprinted from “Life and Living.”
Copyright, George H. Doran & Co., 1916.


 PRO PATRIA.

ENGLAND, in this great fight to which you go,
   Because, where Honour calls you, go you must,
Be glad, whatever comes, at least to know
   You have your quarrel just.

Peace was your care; before the nations’ bar
   Her cause you pleaded and her ends you sought;
But not for her sake, being what you are,
   Could you be bribed and bought. [page 20]

Others may spurn the pledge of land to land,
   May with the brute sword stain a gallant past;
But by the seal to which you set your hand,
   Thank God, you still stand fast!

Forth, then, to front that peril of the deep
   With smiling lips and in your eyes the light,
Steadfast and confident, of those who keep
   Their storied scutcheon bright.

And we, whose burden is to watch and wait,
   High hearted ever, strong in faith and prayer,
We ask what offering we may consecrate,
   What humble service share.

To steel our souls against the lust of ease;
   To find our welfare in the general good;
To hold together, merging all degrees
   In one wide brotherhood;

To teach that he who saves himself is lost;
   To bear in silence though our hearts may bleed;
To spend ourselves, and never count the cost,
   For other’s greater need;

To go our quiet ways, subdued and sane;
   To hush all vulgar clamour of the street;
With level calm to face alike the strain
   Of triumph or defeat; [page 21]

This be our part, for thus we serve you best,
   So best confirm their prowess and their pride,
You warrior sons, to whom in this high test
   Our fortunes we confide.

                                          Sir Owen Seaman.

By special permission of Punch. 


 BELGIUM.

HEART-STRUCK she stands—Our Lady of all Sorrows—
   Circled with ruin, sunk in deep amaze;
Facing the shadow of her dark to-morrows,
   Mourning the glory of her yesterdays.

Yet is she queen, by every royal token,
   There, where the storm of desolation swirled;
Crowned only with the thorn—despoiled and broken—
   Her kingdom is the heart of all the world.

She made her breast a shield, her sword a splendour,
   She rose like flame upon the darkened ways;
So, through the anguish of her proud surrender
   Breaks the clear vision of undying praise.

                                            Marion Couthouy Smith.

The Nation (New York). [page 22]

THE BELGIAN FLAG.

RED for the blood of soldiers,
   Black, yellow and red—
Black for the tears of mothers,
   Black, yellow and red—
And yellow for the light and flame
   Of the fields where the blood is shed!

To the glorious flag, my children,
   Hark!  the call your country gives,
To the flag in serried order!
   He who dies for Belgium lives!

Red for the purple of heroes,
   Black, yellow and red—
Black for the veils of widows,
   Black, yellow and red—
And yellow for the shining crown
   Of the victors who have bled!

To the flag, the flag, my children,
   Hearken to your country’s cry!
Never has it shone so splendid,
   Never has it flown so high!

Red for the flames in fury,
   Black, yellow and red—
Black for the mourning ashes,
   Black, yellow and red—
And yellow of gold, as we proudly hail
   The spirits of the dead! [page 23]

To the flag, my sons!  Your country
   With her blessing “Forward!” cries.
Has it shrunken?  No, when smallest,
   Larger, statelier, it flies!
Is it tattered?  No, ‘tis stoutest
   When destruction it defies!

                               Emile Cammaerts.

From “War Poems and Other Translations,” by Lord Curzon.


 THE WOMEN OF BELGIUM TO THE WOMEN OF ENGLAND.

OH, English women!  see our country’s dying;
Her lifeblood from her gaping wounds is sighing,
Her bitter wrongs to God for vengeance crying!

The Iron Hand has struck, but in the smiting
Its own dishonour on the wall is writing,
And Belgium’s funeral pure the world is lighting.

If we had failed or shrunk before the paying,
If we had saved our dearest from the slaying,
What price had you not paid for the delaying?

Oh, mothers!  who your man-grown sons are keeping,
Oh, fathers!  to the patriot’s duty sleeping,
Oh, lovers!  at the thought of parting, weeping,
Awake and gives us men to do our reaping!

                                                                 Mary Booth.

The Queen. [page 24]


 RESURGAM.

LIÈGE, Louvain, Malines, Alost—
Like tolling of a churchbell slow,
As deep, as soft, the sweet names flow—
Liège, Louvain, Malines, Alost.
Martyred with flames that swept away
Thy glories, doomed Liège, to-day
Thy voice is heard—“Think not that I
In my consumèd body die!
I shall arise, for strong and whole
Survives a conquered people’s soul.”
And comes the echo, tolling slow,
From dark Malines and lost Alost,
That failed not on their kindled pyre;
While proud Louvain, the heart’s desire,
In bitter ruin laid,
With words by pain unmuted, cries:
“Lo! Belgium’s life but sleeping lies,
Be ye who love her undismayed,
She will awake and rise!”

Liège, Louvain, Malines, Alost—
While man shall love and pity know,
Like saints’ names murmured, these shall flow—
Liège, Louvain, Malines, Alost.

                                              Agnes Kendrick Gray.

Boston Transcript. [page 25] 


 THE SPIRES OF OXFORD.

(Seen from the train.) 

I SAW the spires of Oxford
   As I was passing by.
The gray spires of Oxford
   Against a peal-gray sky.
My heart was with the Oxford men
   Who went abroad to die.

The years go fast in Oxford,
   The golden years and gay.
The hoary Colleges look down
   On careless boys at play.
But when the bugles sounded war
   They put their games away.

They left the peaceful river,
   The cricket-field, the quad,
The shaven lawns of Oxford
   To seek a bloody sod—
They gave their merry youth away
   For country and for God.

God rest you happy, gentlemen,
   Who laid your good lives down,
Who took the khaki and the gun
   Instead of cap and gown.
God bring you to a fairer place
   That even Oxford town.

                                   W. M. Letts.

Westminster Gazette. [page 26]


 THE ORION’S FIGUREHEAD AT WHITE-HALL.

ALL wind and rain, the clouds fled fast across the evening sky—
Whitehall a-glimmer like a beach the tide has scarce left dry;
And there I saw the figurehead which once did grace the bow
          Of the old bold Orion
          The fighting old Orion,
     In the days that are not now.

And I wondered did he dream at all of those great fights of old,
And ships from out whose oaken sides Trafalgar’s thunder rolled;
There was Ajax, Neptune, Téméraire, Revenge, Leviathan,
          With the old hold Orion
          The fighting old Orion,
     When victory led the van.

Old ships, their ribs are ashes now; but still the names they bore
And still the hearts that manned them live to sail the seas once more;
To sail and fight, and watch and ward, and strike as stout a blow
          As the old bold Orion,
          The fighting old Orion,
     In the wars of long ago. [page 27]

They watch, the gaunt gray fighting ships, in silence bleak and stern;
They wait—not yet, not yet has dawned the day for which they burn!
They’re watching, waiting for the word that sets their thunders free,
          Like the old bold Orion,
          The fighting old Orion,
     When Nelson sailed the sea.

Oh!  waiting is a weary game, but Nelson played it too
And, be it late or be it soon, such deeds are yet to do
As never your starry namesake saw who walked the midnight sky—
          Old bold Orion,
          Fighting old Orion,
     Of the great old years gone by.

And be the game a waiting game, we’ll play it with the best;
Or be the game a watching game, we’ll watch and never rest;
But the fighting game it pays for all when the guns begin to play
          (Old bold Orion,
          Fighting old Orion)
     Like the guns of yesterday.

                                                                                                                                   C. Fox-Smith.

By special permission of Punch. [page 28]


 THE SEARCHLIGHTS.

    (Political morality differs from individual morality, because there is no power above the State.—General von Bernhardi.)

SHADOW by shadow, stripped for fight
   The lean black cruisers search the sea.
Night-long their level shafts of light
   Revolve, and find no enemy.
Only they know each leaping wave
May hide the lightning, and their grave.

And in the land they guard so well
   Is there no silent watch to keep?
An age is dying, and the bell
   Rings midnight on a vaster deep:
But over all its waves, once more,
The searchlights move, from shore to shore.

And captains that we thought were dead,
   And dreamers that we thought were dumb,
And voices that we thought were fled,
   Arise, and call us, and we come;
And “Search in thine own soul,” they cry;
“For there, too, lurks thine enemy.”

Search for the foe in thine own soul,
   The sloth, the intellectual pride;
The trivial jest that veils the goal
   For which our fathers lived and died;
The lawless dreams, the cynic Art,
That rend thy nobler self apart. [page 29]

Not far, not far into the night,
   These level swords of light can pierce;
Yet for her faith does England fight,
   Her faith in this our universe,
Believing Truth and Justice draw
From founts of everlasting law;

The law that rules the stars, our stay,
   Our compass through the world’s wide sea,
The one sure light, the one sure way,
   The one firm base of Liberty;
The one firm road that men have trod
Through Chaos to the throne of God.

Therefore a Power above the State,
   The unconquerable Power returns;
The fire, the fire that made her great
   Once more upon her altar burns;
Once more, redeemed and healed and whole,
She moves to the Eternal Goal.

                                                  Alfred Noyes.

By special permission of Frederick A. Stokes Co.


 FALL IN.

WHAT will you lack, sonny, what will you lack
   When the girls line up the street,
Shouting their love to the lads come back
   From the foe they rushed to beat?
Will you send a strangled cheer to the sky
   And grin till your cheeks are red?
But what will you lack when your mate goes by
   With a girl who cuts you dead? [page 30]

Where will you look, sonny, where will you look
   When your children yet to be
Clamour to learn of the part you took
   In the War that kept men free?
Will you say it was naught to you if France
   Stood up to her foe or bunked?
But where will you look when they give the glance
   That tells you they know you funked?

How will you fare, sonny, how will you fare
   In the far-off winter night,
When you sit by the fire in an old man’s chair
   And your neighbours talk of the fight?
Will you slink away, as it were from a blow,
   Your old head shamed and bent?
Or say—I was not with the first to go,
   But I went, thank God, I went?

Why do they call, sonny, why do they call
   For men who are brave and strong?
Is it naught to you if your country fall,
   And right is smashed by Wrong?
Is it football still and the picture-show,
   The pub and the betting odds,
When your brothers stand to the tyrant’s blow
   And England’s call is God’s?

                                                  Harold Begbie.

Daily Chronicle. [page 31]


 THE GUNBOAT.

OUT in the good clean water, where it’s blue and wide and deep,
The pride of Britain’s navy lies with thunders all asleep;
And the men they fling their British songs along the open sky,
But the little modest gunboat, she’s a-creepin’ in to die!

The first line’s swingin’ lazy on the purple outer ring,
The proudest ships that ever kept the honour of a king!
But nosin’ down the roadway past the bones of other wrecks,
Goes the doughty little gunboat with her manhood on her decks!

Oh!  the first line’s in the offing, with its shotted lightnings pent,
The proudest fleet that ever kept the King his sacrament!
But down the deathsome harbour, where a ship may find her grave,
The plucky little gunboat is a-sinkin’ ‘neath the wave!

Then sing your British chanteys to the ends of all the seas,
And fling your British banners to the Seven Oceans’ breeze—
But when you tell the gallant tale beneath the open sky,
Give honour to the gunboat that was not to small to die!

                                                      Dana Burnet.

Published by Harper and Bros. [page 32] 


 CALLED UP.

COME, tumble up, Lord Nelson, the British Fleet’s a-looming!
Come, show a leg, Lord Nelson, the guns they are a-booming!
‘Tis a longish line of battle, such as we did never see;
An’ ‘tis not the same old round-shot as was fired by you an’ me!

What see’st thou, Sir Francis?—Strange things I see appearing!
What hearest thou, Sir Francis?—Strange sounds I do be hearing!
They are fighting in the heavens; they’re at war beneath the sea!
Ay, their ways are mighty different from the ways o’ you an’ me!

See’st thou nought else, Sir Francis?—I see great lights a-seeking!
Hearest thou nought else, Sir Francis?—I hear thin wires a-speaking!
Three leagues that shot hath carried!—God, that such could ever be!
There’s no mortal doubt, Lord Nelson—they ha’ done wi’ you an’ me!

Look thou again, Sir Francis!—I see the flag a-flapping!
Hearken once more, Sir Francis!—I hear the sticks a-tapping! [page 33]
‘Tis a sight that calls me thither!—Tis a sound that bids me “come!”
‘Tis the old Trafalgar signal!—‘Tis the beating of my drum!

Art thou ready, good Sir Francis?—See they wait upon the quay!
Praise be to God, Lord Nelson, they ha’ thought of you an’ me!

                                                                                            Dudley Clark.

The Times. 


 THE YOUNGER SON.

THE younger son has earned his bread in ways both hard and easy,
From Parramatta to the Pole, from Yukon to Zambesi;
For young blood is roving blood, and a far road’s best,
And when you’re tired of roving there’ll be time enough to rest.

And it’s “Hello” and “How d’ye do?”  “Who’d ha’ thought of meeting you?
Thought you were in Turkestan, or China or Peru!”—
It’s a long trail in peace time where the roving Britons stray,
But in war-time, in war-time, it’s just across the way!

He’s left the bronchos to be bust by who in thunder chooses;
He’s left the pots to wash themselves in Canada’s cabooses; [page 34]
He’s left the mine and logging camp, the peavy, pick and plough,
For young blood is fighting blood, and England needs him now.

And it’s “Hello” and “How d’ye do?”  “How’s the world been using you?
What’s the news of Calgary, Quebec and Cariboo?”
It’s a long trail in peace time where the roving Britons stray,
But in war-time, in war-time, it’s just across the way!

He’s travelled far by many a trail, he’s rambled here and yonder,
No road too rough for him to tread, no land too wide to wander,
For young blood is roving blood, and the spring of life is best,
And when all the fighting’s done, lad, there’s time enough to rest.

And it’s good-bye, tried and true, here’s a long farewell to you,
(Rolling stone from Mexico, Shanghai or Timbuctoo!)
Young blood is roving blood, but the last sleep is best,
When the fighting all is done, lad, and it’s time to rest.

                                                         C. Fox-Smith.

By special permission of Punch. [page 35] 


 NON-COMBATANT.

BEFORE one drop of angry blood was shed
   I was sore hurt and beaten to my knee;
Before one fighting man reeled back and died
   The War-Lords struck at me.

They struck me down—an idle, useless mouth,
   As cumbrous—nay, more cumbrous—than the dead;
With life and heart afire to give and give,
   I take a dole instead.

With life and heart afire to give and give,
   I take and eat the bread of charity;
In all the length of all this eager land
   No man has need of me.

That is my hurt—my burning, beating wound;
   That is the spear-thrust driven through my pride!
With aimless hands, and mouth that must be fed,
   I wait and stand aside.

Let me endure it, then, with stiffened lip:
   I, even I, have suffered in the strife!
Let me endure it, then—I give my pride
   Where others give a life.

                                                       Cicely Hamilton.

Westminster Gazette. [page 36]


 HIS ONLY WAY.

I STOOD to-day high on the downs
   And talked long with a shepherd lad;
I found him pondering by his sheep,
   Motionless, staring-eyed, and sad.

But, leaning on his Pyecombe crook—
   Long polished by his father’s hand—
He told, with slow-tongued eagerness,
   This love-tale of his Sussex land:

“Me and my mate, Dick, loved a girl,
   But he was always down at plough,
And in and out the village, like,
   And—well, he ‘listed, anyhow;

“While I bides up here ‘long me sheep;
   And our girl, though she liked us two
Equal it seemed, she took his ring—
   As, sure, she’d right enough to do.

“Well, Dick, he fought and met his death,
   Somewheres in Flanders, so ‘tis said;
And I can’t go to her, I feels,
   Because of Dick there lying dead.

“They do tell she gets pine and thin,
   And mopes and mourns that bitterly,
But I can’t go and say a word,
   Because he died for her, you see. [page 37]

“And by day I sees it more—
   I’ve pieced it all out clear and plain—
As I must go like Dick has gone,
   Afore I looks at her again.

“Old wall-eyed Bob, there, ‘ll pine awhile
   And listen, maybe, for my call;
And master he’ll be proper mad,
   With lambing coming on and all.

“But there ‘tis, and there ain’t two ways;
   He went, and ‘tis the only thing;
Else I shall grow to hate the hill,
   And get ashamed o’ shepherding.

“That there’s her window down below,
   Aside the copse, where I could see
(It seems a score o’ years agone)
   Our girl stand waving up to me.

“Come Sunday, then, I’ll list for sure
   (The same as you done, Dick, old lad!);
Then, if I gets back, I can go
   Fair, like, and face her proud and glad.”

                                      Habberton Lulham.

From “The Other Side of Silence.”  Simpkin, Marshall & Co., 4 Stationer’s Hall Court. [page 38]


 TO ONE WHO TAKES HIS EASE.

LOOK in your heart!  make inquisition there
   Of service done in this supreme of hours—
What sacrifice for England’s sake you bear,
   To what high use or humble put your powers!
If, pleading local duty’s louder call
   Or weight of years that checks the soaring wing,
You are excused the dearest gift of all,
   What of the next best thing?

No doubt the war has touched you—that we guess,
   And so have some of your importunate friends;
From time to time you post them, when they press,
   A little cheque for charitable ends;
You have reduced your tribute to the hunt,
   Declined to bring the family to Town,
Discharged your second footman to the Front
   And shut a tweeny down.

Hearing that each is bound to do his bit
   In that estate where he is set by Heaven,
You trouble less about your trousers’ fit,
   And eat six courses in the place of seven.
Upon your pint of champagne still you count,
   But later drinks you temperately dock
(Because at clubs the alcoholic fount
   Closes at ten o’clock). [page 39]

A hundred needs cry out to such as you
   For willing labour—watches of the night,
Shells to be filled, a turn of work to do,
   That sets a good man free to go and fight.
But tasks like these entail a lack of rest,
   They put a strain on people’s arms and backs;
And you’ve enough to bear with rents depressed,
   And all that super-tax.

Well, if you’re satisfied, then all is said;
   If, sheltered close and snug, you shirk the blast,
Immune in idleness of hand and head,
   False to your cause, disloyal to your caste,
When gallant men from yonder hell of flame
   Come back awhile to heal the wounds of war
And find you thus, you’ll hear no word of blame,
   But they will think the more.

                                                 Sir Owen Seaman.

By special permission of Punch.


 THE NEW SCHOOL.

THE halls that were loud with the merry tread of young and careless feet
   Are still with a stillness that is too drear to seem like holiday,
And never a gust of laughter breaks the calm of the dreaming street
   Or rises to shake the ivied walls and frighten the doves away. [page 40]

The dust is on book and on empty desk, and the tennis-racquet and balls
   Lie still in their lonely locker and wait for a game that is never played,
And over the study and lecture-room and the river and meadow falls
   A stern peace, a strange peace, a peace that War has made.

For many a youthful shoulder now is gay with an epaulet,
   And the hand that was deft with a cricket-bat is defter with a sword,
And some of the lads will laugh to-day where the trench is red and wet,
   And some will win on the bloody field the accolade of the Lord.

They have taken their youth and mirth away from the study and playing-ground
   To a new school in an alien land beneath an alien sky;
Out in the smoke and roar of the fight their lessons and games are found,
   And they who were learning how to live are learning how to die.

And after the golden day has come and the war is at an end
   A slab of bronze on the chapel wall will tell of the noble dead. [page 41]
And every name on that radiant list will be the name of a friend,
   A name that shall through the centuries in grateful prayers be said.

And there will be ghosts in the old school, brave ghosts with laughing eyes,
   On the field with a ghostly cricket-bat, by the stream with a ghostly rod;
They will touch the hearts of the living with a flame that sanctifies,
   A flame that they took with strong young hands from the altar-fires of God.

                                                                                                     Joyce Kilmer.

Outlook. 


 THE MAN IN THE TRENCH.

(Written after the great Battle of Ypres.)

CAN you not hear me, young man in the street?
Is it nothing to you who pass by,
Who down the dim-lit ways in thousands roam?
From here I watch you, through the driving sleet,
Under the evening sky,
Hurrying home.
Home!  how the word sounds like a bell—
I wonder if you know, as I know well,
That in this trench
Of death and stench
I stand between your home and hell. [page 42]
I am the roof that shields you from the weather,
I am the gate that keeps the brigand back,
When pillage, fire and murder come together,
I am the wall that saves your home from sack.
Man!  when you look upon the girl you prize,
Can you imagine horror in those eyes?
You have not seen, you cannot understand,
This trench is England, all this ruined land
Is where you wander, or field, or strand,
Save for God’s grace, and for the guns that rest
Upon this dripping mudbank of the west.
Our blood has stained your threshold—will you stain
Your soul, give nothing and take all our gain?
Why did I come?  I ask not nor repent;
Something blazed up inside me and I went.
The khaki fringe is frayed, and now a rent
Needs men—needs men, and I am almost spent.
Night, and the “ready” . . . so sleep well, my friend . . .
The guns again are going . . . I must stick it to the end.

                                                     James Bernard Fagan.

The Daily Telegraph, Nob., 1914. [page 43]


 THE MESSAGES.<a href=#astarlink>*</a>

“I cannot quite remember . . . There were five
Dropt dead beside me in the trench—and three
Whispered their dying messages to me. . . .”

Back from the trenches, more dead than alive,
Stone-deaf and dazed, and with a broken knee,
He hobbled slowly, muttering vacantly:

“I cannot quite remember . . . There were five
Dropt dead beside me in the trench—and three
Whispered their dying messages to me. . . .

“Their friends are waiting, wondering how they thrive—
Waiting a word in silence patiently . . .
But what they said or who their friends may be—

“I cannot quite remember . . . There were five
Dropt dead beside me in the trench—and three
Whispered their dying messages to me. . . .”

                                                  Wilfrid Wilson Gibson.

<a name=astarlink></a>

*This and the following five poems are from “Battle and Other Poems.”  The Macmillan Co.


[page 44]

BREAKFAST.

WE eat our breakfast lying on our backs,
Because the shells were screeching overhead.
I bet a rasher to a loaf of bread
That Hull United would beat Halifax
When Jimmy Stainthorpe played full back instead
Of Billy Bradford.  Ginger raised his head
And cursed, and took the bet—and dropt back dead.
We eat our breakfast lying on our backs,
Because the shells were screeching overhead.

                                        Wilfrid Wilson Gibson.


 THE RETURN.

HE went, and he was gay to go;
   And I smiled on him as he went.
My son—‘twas well he couldn’t know
   My darkest dread, nor what it meant—

Just what it meant to smile and smile
   And let my son go cheerily—
My son . . . and wondering all the while
   What stranger would come back to me.

                            Wilfrid Wilson Gibson. [page 45]


 TO THE MEMORY OF RUPERT BROOKE.

HE’S gone.
I do not understand.
I only know
That as he turned to go
And waved his hand
In his young eyes a sudden glory shone:
And I was dazzled by a sunset glow,
And he was gone.

                       Wilfrid Wilson Gibson.
April 23rd.


 HIT.

OUT of the sparkling sea
I drew my tingling body clear, and lay
On a low ledge the livelong summer day,
Basking, and watching lazily
White sails in Falmouth Bay.

My body seemed to burn
Salt in the sun that drenched it through and through,
Till every particle glowed clean and new,
And slowly seemed to turn
To lucent amber in a world of blue . . .
I felt a sudden wrench—
A trickle of warm blood—
And found that I was sprawling in the mud
Among the dead men in the trench.

                                           Wilfrid Wilson Gibbon. [page 46]


 THE FATHER.

THAT was his sort,
It didn’t matter
What we were at
But he must chatter
Of this and that
His little son
Had said and done:
Till, as he told
The fiftieth time
Without a change
How three-year-old
Prattled a rhyme,
They got the range
And cut him short.

   Wilfrid Wilson Gibson. 


 THE WORD.

THE pain had been sharp—
   ‘Twas an oath on his lips when he died.
Yet, sung to a harp
   By an angel, it can’t be denied,
The word would sound well;
   For within it there lurked his intent,
Not suited to hell,
   And in heaven they sing what he meant.

                                             Armel O’Connor.

The Westminster Gazette. [page 47]


 THE LARK.

FROM wrath-red dawn to wrath-red dawn,
   The guns have brayed without abate;
And now the sick sun looks upon
   The bleared, blood-beltered fields of hate,
As if loathed to rise again.
   How strange the hush!  Yet, sudden, hark!
From yon down-trodden gold of grain,
   The leaping rapture of a lark.

          A fusillade of melody,
             That sprays us from yon trench of sky;
          A new amazing enemy
             We cannot silence though we try;
          A battery on radiant wings,
             That from yon gap of golden fleece
          Hurls at us hopes of such strange things
             As joy and home and love and peace.

Pure heart of song!  do you not know
   That we are making earth a hell?
Or is it that you try to show
   Life still is joy and all is well?
Brave little wings!  Ah, not in vain
   You beat into that bit of blue:
Lo!  we, who drink the dregs of pain,
   Lift shining eyes, see Heaven too.

                                                   Robert W. Service.

Maclean’s Magazine. [page 48]


 SONNEZ!  CLAIRONS!

SONNEZ, clairons de la Justice:
Clamez au monde épouvanté
Du Kaiser la duplicité;
Pour que, sur lui, s’appesantise
Le mépris lourd des coeurs bien nés.
Sonnez, clairons de la Justice,
          Sonnez!

Sonnez, clairons de la Bataille:
A travers monts, et prés, et bois,
Sonnez, le réveil des Gaulois!
Pour que se ruent, cambrant la taille.
Les jeunes comme leurs ainés,
Sonnez, clairons de la Bataille,
          Sonnez!  sonnez!

Sonnez, clairons de la Victoire:
Que l’orgueil alsacien-lorrain
Rugisse en votre voix d’airain!
Pour nous rouvrir—ô Joie!  ô Gloire!—
Les deux pays abandonnés,
Sonnez, clairons de la Victoire,
          Sonnez!  Sonnez!  Sonnez!

                                        Théodore Botrel,
                                   “Chausonnier des Armées.”

From “Les Chants du Bivouac.”  Librairie Payot et Cie, Paris, 106, Boulevard Saint Germain. [page 49]


VOILÀ LES “KAKIS.”

(Chanson imrovisée Ferté-milon le rer septembre, pendant que défilaient les troupes anglaises.)

Sur l’air de la “Polka des Anglais.”

I.

DÈS l’premier jour de guerre
La loyale Angleterre
Envoyait aux combats
Ses plus vaillant soldats
Conduits par French-le-brave,
Toujours correct et grave,
Ah!  qu’ils ont donc bon air
Les guerriers d’Kitchener!

Refrain.

Voilà les “kakis”
Qui nous ont conquis
Tant ils sont exquis
(Aoh!  yès!  Very Well!)
Lorsque, bravement,
Flegmatiquement,
Ils cogn’nt sur l’Allimand:
Aoh!  yès!  Very Well!

II.

Froid’ment, comm’ sans fatique.
Sur un petit air de gigue
Ils font sauter en l’air
Les soldats du Kaiser; [page 50]
Et pour rhythmer la danse,
Les grands pibroks s’avancent
Qui sont, chacun le sait,
Les binious écossais:

Refrain.

L’Highlander accourt
A notre secours
En p’tit jupon court
(Aoh!  yès!  Very Well!)
Il a, c’est connu,
L’jarret bien tendu:
Ca s’voit à l’oeil nu!
Aoh!  yès!  Very Well!

III.

 
Tant et plus qu’on en d’mande
Après les gâs d’Irlande
S’amèn’nt les Canadiens
Qui sont nos petits-cousins;
En vient d’Alexandrie,
De l’Inde et de l’Australie:
S’il nous en faut toujours
En viendra d’chez les “Bours”!

Refrain.

Ajoutex cu’trois cents
Cuirassés géants
Gard’nt nos Océans
(Aoh!  yès!  Very Well!) [page 51]

Et croyez, têtus
Qu’l’Allemange est batture:
L’Kaiser est f . . . . ichu
Aoh!  yès!  Very Well!

                                               Théodore Botrel,
                                          “Chansonnier des Armées.”

From “Les Chants du Bivouac.”  Librairie Payot et Cie, Paris, 106, Boulevard Saint Germain.


 ON GOING INTO ACTION.

 Now the weak impulse and the blind desire
   Give way at last to the all-conquering will.
   Love now must pause, and fancy cease, until
The soul has won that freedom born of fire.
Sing, then, no songs upon the sweet-voiced lyre:
   But choose some nobler instrument, whose shrill,
   Nerve-bracing notes my doubting heart shall fill
With a new courage that will never tire.
Sing me the dead men’s glorious deeds again!
   Tell how they suffered, died, but would not fail!
Stir me to action!  Let me feel their pain,
   Their strength, their mystery:—that at the tale
I rise with such clear purpose in my brain
   That even Hell’s own gates should not prevail.

                                                           H. R. Freston.
           (Killed in action in France, Jan. 24th, 1916).

The Times. [page 52]


 THE MOUTH ORGAN.

OH!  there ain’t no band to cheer us up, there ain’t no ‘Ighland pipers
To keep our warlike ardure warm round New Chapelle and Wipers;
So—since there’s nothin’ like a tune to glad the ‘eart o’ man—
Why, Billy with ‘is mouth organ ‘e does the best ‘e can.
There ain’t no birds in Plug Street Wood, the guns ‘ave sent ‘em flyin’,
An’ there ain’t no song to ‘ear except the dquealin’ shells acryin’;
The thrushes all ‘ave ‘ooked, and the blackbirds ‘ad to fit. . . .
So Billy with ‘is mouth organ, ‘e ups and does ‘is bit.
‘Is notes is somewhat limited, they are not ‘igh and soary;
‘E ‘asn’t got that many things in ‘is bloomin’ repertory;
But when ‘e’s played the lot, why then, ‘is course is straight and plain,
‘E starts at the beginnin’ and ‘e plays ‘em all again!
‘e’s played ‘em oft upon the march, an’ likewise in the trenches;
‘E’s played ‘em to the Gurkhas an’ ‘e’s played ‘em to the Frenchies;
‘E may be ankle-deep in dust or middle deep in slime,
But Billy with ‘is mouth organ ‘e’s at it all the time.
Wet, ‘ungry, thirsty, ‘ot or cold, whatever may betide ‘im,
‘e’ll play upon the ‘ob of ‘ell while the breath is left inside ‘im; [page 53]
And when we march up Potsdam an’ goose-step through Berlin,
Why, Billy, with ‘is mouth organ, ‘e’ll play the army in!

                                                                                              C. Fox-Smith.

By special permission of Punch.


 THE SOLDIER.*

IF I should die, think only this of me:
   That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England.  There shall be
   In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
   Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
   Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
   A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
      gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
   And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
      In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

                                                                       Rupert Brooke.
                                      (Died on a French hospital-ship, on St. George’s Day, 1915, and buried
                                      on the island of Scyros.)

*This and the following two poems are printed by special permission of the Literary Executor and Sidgwick and Jackson, Ltd.


[page 54]

 PEACE.

Now, God be thanked Who has matched  us with His hour,
   And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping,
With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power,
   To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,
Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary,
   Leave the sick hearts that honour could not move,
And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
   And all the little emptiness of love!

Oh!  we, who have known shame, we have found release there,
   Where there’s no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending
     Naught broken save this body, lost but breath;
Nothing to shake the laughing heart’s long peace there
   But only agony, and that has ending;
      And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.

                                                             Rupert Brooke.


 THE DEAD.

BLOW out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
   There’s none of these so lonely and poor of old,
   But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
   Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene,
   That men call age; and those who would have been,
Their sons, they gave, their immortality. [page 55]

Blow, bugles, blow!  They brought us, for our dearth,
   Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, and Pain.
Honour has come back, as a king to earth,
   And paid his subjects with a royal wage;
And Nobleness walks in our ways again;
   And we have come into our heritage.

                                                             Rupert Brooke.


 THE LONG DEAD.

UNDER their stones  they lie, in great cathedrals,
dust and ashes.
But they are not there.
Under grass they lie, in little churchyards,
dust and ashes.
But they are not there.
Far in strange lands they lie, with no sign over them,
dust and ashes.
But they are not there.
Under deep seas they lie, lost in sea changes,
pearl and coral.
But they are not there.

From all their places,
their worshipped and their unknown places,
they are gone to where the new comers
give golden shining
above the dark battle.

                                                          Helen Mackay.

From “London One November.”  Published by Andrew Melrose, Ltd. [page 56]


“DULCE ET DECORUM.”

O YOUNG and brave, it is not sweet to die,
   To fall and leave no record of the race,
A little dust trod by the passers-by,
   Swift feet that press your lonely resting-place;
Your dreams unfinished, and your song unheard—
Who wronged your youth by such a careless word?

All life was sweet—veiled mystery in its smile;
   High in your hands you held the brimming cup;
Love waited at your bidding for a while,
   Not yet the time to take its challenge up;
Across the sunshine came no faintest breath
To whisper of the tragedy of death.

And then, beneath the soft and shining blue,
   Faintly you heard the drum’s insistent beat;
The echo of its urgent note you knew,
   The shaken earth that told of marching feet;
With quickened breath you heard your country’s call,
And from your hands you let the goblet fall.

You snatched the sword, and answered as you went,
   For fear your eager feet should be outrun,
And with the flame of your bright youth unspent
   Went shouting up the pathway to the sun.
O valiant dead, take comfort where you lie
So sweet to live?  Magnificent to die!

                                      Mrs. Robertson Glasgow.

By special permission of Punch. [page 57]


 THE FALLEN SUBALTERN.

THE star shells float above, the bayonets glisten;
   We bear our fallen friend without a sound;
Below the waiting legions lie and listen
   To us, who march upon their burial-ground.

Wound in the flag of England, here we lay him;
   The guns will flash and thunder o’er the grave;
What other winding sheet should now array him,
   What other music should salute the brave?

As goes the Sun-god in his chariot glorious,
   When all his golden banners are unfurled,
So goes the soldier, fallen but victorious,
   And leaves behind a twilight in the world.

And those who come this way in days hereafter,
   Will know that here a boy for England fell,
Who looked at danger with the eyes of laughter,
   And on the charge his days were ended well.

One last salute; the bayonets clash and glisten;
   With arms reversed we go without a sound:
One more has joined the men who lie and listen
   To us, who march upon their burial-ground.

                                               Herbert Asquith.

From “The Volunteer.”  Published by Sidgwick and Jackson, Ltd. [page 58]


 IN MEMORIAM.

 LIEUTENANT ROY TESSIER SEAVER SACHS,

 THE CANADIAN SCOTTISH, SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS, VANCOUVER.

 (Killed in action, June 14th, 1916).

QUEEN of the snows, was ever purer heart
   Than this thy son’s to help of Britain given?
   With fuller sacrifice have any striven
To play for Europe’s peace a warrior’s part?
Not from the thoughtless wrangling of the mart
   But from the student’s cell uncalled, undriven
   He crossed the seas with one bright star in heaven—
Duty, the pole-star of his patriot chart.

Oh!  never pipes more sorrowfully played
   For one by life and deed to all endeared
      Their loud lament above a soldier’s sleep;
   Here plant the maple, let no stone be reared,
And every autumn bid its whispering shade
      Of his gold heart a golden memory keep.

                                                       H. D. Rownsley. [page 59]


 THE ROLL OF HONOUR.

YOUR faces haunt me from the printed pages,
   The roll call of our valiant English dead;
What woman’s hands, I wonder, clung in parting?
   What woman’s heart breaks, now the shot is sped?
We speak of Glory and the Cause you died for,
   We lay our homage on your blood-stained grave,
Will Glory help to ease the women’s anguish
   Or solace them for these dear dead they gave?

Yea surely.  For your spirits go before them,
   You, who made Death a crown about your lives!
And in the splendour of your souls that conquered
   We learn this lesson.  Blest is he who strives
For Love and Faith, for Truth and priceless Honour;
   These cannot pass away with mortal breath;
God guards them safe, and in His mighty keeping
   Are also those who nobly looked on Death!

                                                     Margaret Peterson.

Daily Chronicle. 


 THE VOLUNTEER.

HERE lies a clerk who half his life had spent
   Toiling at ledgers in a city grey,
   Thinking that so his days would drift away
With no lance broken in life’s tournament;
Yet ever ‘twixt the books and his bright eyes
   The gleaming eagles of the legions came,
And horsemen, charging under phantom skies,
   Went thundering past beneath the oriflamme. [page 60]

And now those waiting dreams are satisfied;
   From twilight to the halls of dawn he went;
   His lance is broken; but he lies content
With that high hour in which he lived and died.
And falling thus, he wants no recompense,
   Who found his battle in the last resort;
Nor needs he any hearse to bear him hence,
   Who goes to join the men of Agincourt.

                                               Herbert Asquith.

From “The Volunteer.”  Published by Sidgwick and Jackson, Ltd.


 IN FLANDERS FIELDS.

IN Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place, and in the sky,
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high!
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

                           Lieut.-Col. John McCrae.

By special permission of Punch. [page 61]


 THE LURE OF ENGLAND.

THERE’S a misty sea-girt island in the sunset-haunted west,
   I can see it in my wounded dreams of home;
I can see the dwindling hedgerows where the sparrow builds her nest,
   And the grassland with its throw of daisied foam.

Oh!  there’s spring upon the island, and the greening lures me back
   To mysterious meres and woodways in the west;
. . . They have stripped my manhood from me, they have stretched me on the rack . . .
   Take me home, a blinded, broken thing, to rest!

I can never see the island with its fields sheeted gold,
   And the wisps of sunset drifting in the west;
Darkness drowns the dim green valleys, and the silent hills of old,
   And the hedges where the sparrow builds her nest.

Let me put my blind eyes down among the bluebells and the grass,
   Let me feel the brimming coolness on my brow;
Let me touch the dewy bracken, where the dreamful shadows pass;
   I have bled for England; let her heal me now!

                                                                    C. A. Renshaw.

By special permission of Poetry Review, London. [page 62]


 WOUNDED.

HERE day by day and night by night,
   Pinned to the self-same bed I lie,
While one by one, in furtive flight,
   The hooded weeks steal quickly by.

Somewhere o’er the uncounted dead
   The guns, I know, toll out the day,
And every hour the spiriting lead
   Flicks the bright souls of men away.

But here life’s simple, woven all
   Of morning light and evening gloom;
The lawn and the dark hospital,
   And always this three-windowed room.

And often friends come pitying me,
   That, wounded, I should be shut out
From misty moor and tossing sea,
   And winds that sweep the world about.

Pity me not.  Life’s simple, yes,
   But this small world, intensely known,
Takes on a magic loveliness
   Like wind that comes, like wind that’s flown,

For, as I lie, struck down and lame,
   My spirit quickens suddenly;
Red lilies by me seem to flame
   A challenge to the grizzled sky.

And, as night falls across the lawn,
   Across the bridge, each glowing lamp
Seems distant, league on league withdrawn,
   The watch-fire of no mortal camp. [page 63]

And pigeons, circling round the trees,
   And wheeling downward to my bed,
Shine silver in the morning breeze
   Like souls of the light-hearted dead.

                                                S. G. Tallents.

Spectator.


 BATTLE SLEEP.

SOMEWHERE, O sun, come corner there must be
   Thou visitest, where down the strand,
Quietly, still, the waves go out to sea
   From the green fringes of a pastoral land.

Deep in the orchard-bloom the roof-trees stand,
   The brown sheep graze along the bay;
And through the apple-boughs above the sand
   The bees’ hum sounds no fainter than the spray.

There, through uncounted hours, declines the day
   To the low arch of twilight’s close;
And, just as night about the moon grows gray,
   One sail leans westward to the fading rose.

Giver of dreams, O thou with scatheless wing
   Forever moving through the fiery hail,
To flame-seared lids the cooling vision bring,
   And let some soul go seaward with that sail!

                                                   Edith Wharton.

Century. [page 64]


 KITCHENER.

No man in England slept, the night he died:
The harsh, stern spirit passed without a pang,
And free of mortal clogs his message rang.
In every wakeful mind the challenge cried:
Think not of me:  one servant less or more
Means nothing now:  hold fast the greater thing—
Strike hard, love truth, serve England and the King!

Servant of England, soldier to the core,
What does it matter where his body fall?
What does it matter where they build the tomb?
Five million men, from Calias to Khartoum,
These are his wreath and his memorial.

                                                    Christopher Morley.

By special permission of Life. 


 A GRAVE IN FLANDERS.

 HERE in the marshland, past the battered bridge,
   One of a hundred grains untimely sown,
Here, with his comrades of the hard-won ridge,
   He rests unknown.

His horoscope had seemed so plainly drawn,—
   School triumphs, earned apace in work and play;
Friendships at will; then love’s delightful dawn
   And mellowing day. [page 65]

Home fostering hope; some service to the State;
   Benignant age; then the long tryst to keep
Where in the yew-tree shadow congregate
   His fathers sleep.

Was here the one thing needful to distil
   From life’s alembic, through his holier fate,
The man’s essential soul, the hero will?
   We ask; and wait.

                                                Lord Crewe. 

The Harrovian.


 EDITH CAVELL.

THE world hath its own dead; great motions start
   In human breasts, and make for them a place
   In that hushed sanctuary of the race
Where every day men come, kneel, and depart.
Of them, O English nurse, henceforth thou art
   A name to pray on, and to all a face
   Of household consecration; such His grace
Whose universal dwelling is the heart.
O gentle hands that soothed the soldier’s brow
   And knew no service save of Christ the Lord!
   Thy country now is all humanity.
How like a flower thy womanhood doth show
   In the harsh scything of the German sword,
And beautifies the world that saw it die!

                                              C. E. Woodberry.

Copyright, 1916, Charles Scribners’ Sons. [page 66]


 A. B. V.

I BOW my head, O brother, brother, brother,
   But may not grudge you, that were All to me.
Should anyone lament when this our mother
   Mourns for so many sons on land and sea?
God of the love that makes two lives as one,
Give also strength to see that England’s will be done.

Let it be done, yea, down to the last tittle,
   Up to the fulness of all sacrifice.
Our dead feared this alone—to give too little.
   Then shall the living murmur at the price?
The hands withdrawn from ours to grasp the plough
Would suffer only if the furrow faltered now.

Know, fellow-mourners—be our cross too grievous—
   That One who sealed our symbol with His blood
Vouchsafes the vision that shall never leave us:
   Those humble crosses in the Flanders mud.
And think there rests all-hallowed in each grave
A life given freely for the world He died to save.

And, far ahead, dim tramping generations,
   Who never felt and cannot guess our pain,—
Though history count nothing less then nations,
   And fame forget where grass has grown again—
Shall yet remember that the world is free.
It is enough.  For this is immortality. [page 67] 

I raise my head, O brother, brother, brother.
   The organ sobs for triumph to my heart.
What!  who will think that ransomed Earth can smother
   Her own great soul of which you are a part!
The requiem music dies as if it knew
The inviolate peace where ‘tis already well with you.

                                                                           R. V.

     Spectator.


 A SKYLARK BEHIND THE TRENCHES.

THOU little voice!  Thou happy sprite,
How didst thou gain the air and light—
That sing’st so merrily?
How could such little wings
Give thee thy freedom from these dense
And fetid tombs—these burrows whence
We peer like frightened things?
In the free sky
Thou sail’st while here we crawl and creep
And fight and sleep
And die.

How canst thou sing while Nature lies
Bleeding and torn beneath thine eyes,
And the foul breath
Of rank decay hangs like a shroud
Over the fields the shell hath ploughed?
How canst thou sing, so gay and glad,
While all the heavens are filled with death
And all the world is mad? [page 68]

Yet sing!  For at thy song
The tall trees stand up straight and strong,
And stretch their twisted arms;
And smoke ascends from pleasant farms,
And thy shy flowers their odours give.
Once more the riven pastures smile,
And for a while
We live.

                                                        E. D. S.
                                      France, May, 1916.

The Times.


 AT BETHLEHEM—1915.

THE travellers are astir—
   Bearing frowns for incense,
Scorns for myrrh.

War flings its sign afar—
   There’s blood upon the Manger,
Blood upon the Star.

Dear Lord:
   Who fain would find the Saviour
Find the Sword.

                               E. T. Sanford.

Nation. [page 69]


 “KILLED IN ACTION.”—APRIL, 1916.

 I.

HE never saw his misty English lanes
   Break into myriad bloom, or the new grass
   Gleam in the sunlight, or swift shadows pass
Across a haze of bluebells, or Spring rains
Drip from red may and gold laburnum-chains
   At sunset; never saw his wind-blown heath
   Tremble with hidden life, or the white wreath
Of cloud-drift roll from off his sun-lit plains.

These things he loved with his big English heart
   (Clean as fresh wind upon an open trail).
   These things he dreamed of in the bullet-hail
   With eyes that watched the dawn in many times.
   . . . He is dead . . . and on his hills the sun still climbs,
And o’er his plains the drifting cloud-ships start.

II.

Dead in some alien grave of suffering France,
   Where homesteads smoke and human harvests rot,
   Where shell-scooped craters reek and fume with hot
Assaults, and o’er red plains the death-mists dance.
Dead in his youth, his golden utterance
   And clean thoughts stifled suddenly—a blot
   Flung on his dreams—Desires and Pains forgot
In Death’s stern lonely soul-deliverance. [page 70]

And lo!  far-off across the faint grey sea,
   Are things he loved and yearned for—England’s skies,
Dream0glades of bluebells, winds across wet hay,
   Laughter of little children, triumph-cries
Of moorland winds, the urgent ecstasy
Of birds, and low sad sounds of tired day.

III.

Six thousand miles he came with love astir—
   A strong storm-shaken thing for England’s sake—
   From dark pine-glooms where leaping cataracts break
In living foam,—where God’s artificer
Has dreamed of God, and every ice-clad spur
   Leans to itself in some blue-bosomed lake.
   When England called, he leaped with soul awake,
And came six thousand miles to fight for her.

Forgotten every lake and giant height
   And sweeping torrent!  England lured him home—
      England—the Mother crying for her son.
   He rushed to her, heart-hungry o’er the foam,
      And died with name unknown and spurs unwon—
A son of England’s smitten in the fight.

                                                        C. A. Renshaw. [page 71]


 THE OLD ROAD TO PARADISE.

Ours is a dark Eastertide and a scarlet spring,
But high up by Heaven’s gate all the saints sing,
Glad for the great companies returning to their King!

Oh, in youth the morn’s a rose, dusk an amethyst,
All the roads from dusk to dawn gayly wind and twist—
The old road to Paradise, easy it is missed!

But out on the wet battlefields few the roadways wind
(One to grief, one to death, no road that’s kind),
The old road to Paradise, plain it is to find!

(St. Martin in his colonel’s cloak, Joan in her mail,
David in his robe and sword—none there be that fail—
Down the road to Paradise they stand to greet and hail!)

Where the dark’s a terror-thing, morn a hope doubt-crossed,
Where the lads lie thinking long out in rain and frost,
There they find their God again long ago they lost.

Where the night comes cruelly, where the hurt men moan,
Where the crushed forgotten ones whisper prayers alone,
Christ along the battlefields comes to lead His own.

Souls that might have withered in the world’s hot glare,
Blown and gone like shrivelled things dusty on the air,
Rank on rank they follow Him, young and strong and fair! [page 72]

Ours is a sad Eastertide and a woeful day,
Yet high up at Heaven’s fate all the saints are gay,
For the old road to Paradise—‘tis a crowded way!

                                                          Margaret Widdemer.

Good Housekeeping.


 THREE HILLS.

THERE is a hill in England,
   Green fields and a school I know,
Where the balls fly fast in summer,
   And the whispering elm trees grow,
A little hill, a dear hill,
   And the playing fields below.

There is a hill in Flanders,
   Heaped with a thousand slain,
Where the shells fly night and noontide
   And the ghosts that died in vain,
A little hill, a hard hill,
   To the souls that died in pain.

There is a hill in Jewry,
   three crosses pierce the sky,
On the midmost He is dying
   To save all those who die,
A little hill, a kind hill,
   To the souls in jeopardy.

                                    Everard Owen.

The Times. [page 73]


 TO BELGIUM.

OUR tears, our songs, our laurels—what are these
   To thee in thy Gethsemane of loss,
Stretched in thine unimagined agonies
   On Hell’s last engine of the Iron Cross.

For such a world as this that thou shouldst die
   Is price too vast—yet, Belgium, hadst thou sold
Thyself, O then had fled from our the earth
   Honour forever, and left only God.

Nor diest thou—for soon shalt thou awake,
   And, lifted high on our victorious shields,
Watch the new sunrise driving for your sons
   The hated German shadow from your fields.

                                         Richard Le Gallienne.

From “The Silk-Hat Soldier.”  Published by John Lane.


 THE REFUGEES.

PAST the marching men, where the great road runs,
   Out of burning Ypres three pale women came:
One was a widow (listen to the guns!)—
   She wheeled a heaped-up barrow.  One walked lame
And dragged two little children at her side,
   Tired and coughing with the dust.  The third
Nestled a dead child on her breast and tried
   To suckle him.  They never spoke a word. . . . [page 74]

So they came down along the great Ypres road.
   A soldier stayed his mirth to watch them pass,
Turned and in silence helped them with their load,
   And led them to a field and gave them bread. . . .
I saw them hide their faces in the grass
   And cry, as women cried when Christ was dead.

                                            Capt. W. G. Shakespeare.

Spectator.


 CHRIST IN FLANDERS.

WE had forgotten You, or very nearly—
You did not seem to touch us very nearly—
   Of course we thought about You now and then;
Especially in any kind of trouble—
We knew that You were good in time of trouble—
   But we are very ordinary men.

And there were always other things to think of—
There’s lots of things a man has got to think of—
   His work, his home, his pleasure, and his wife;
And so we only thought of You on a Sunday—
Sometimes, perhaps, not even on a Sunday—
   Because there’s always lots to fill one’s life.

And, all the while, in street or lane or byway—
In country lane, in city street, or byway—
   You walked among us, and we did not see.
Your feet were bleeding as You walked our pavements—
How did we miss Your footprints on our pavements?—
   Can there be other folk as blind as we? [page 75]

Now we remember; over here in Flanders—
(It isn’t strange to think of You in Flanders)—
   This hideous warfare seems to make things clear.
We never thought about You much in England;
But now that we are far away from England,
   We have no doubts, we know that You are here.

You helped us pass the jest along the trenches—
Where, in cold blood, we waited in the trenches—
   You touched its ribaldry and made it fine.
You stood beside us in our pain and weakness—
   Somehow it seems to help us not to whine.

We think about You kneeling in the Garden—
Ah!  God!  the agony of that dread Garden—
   We know You prayed for us upon the Cross.
If anything could make us glad to bear it.
‘Twould be the knowledge that You willed to bear it—
   Pain—Death—the uttermost of human loss.

Though we forgot You, You will not forget us—
We feel so sure that You will not forget us—
   But stay with us until this dream is past.
And so we ask for courage, strength, and pardon—
Especially, I think, we ask for pardon—
   And that You’ll stand beside us to the last.

                                                                  L. W.

     Spectator. [page 76]


 A FLEMISH VILLAGE.

GONE is the spire that slept for centuries,
   Whose image in the water, calm and low,
Was mingled with the lilies’ green and snow,
   And lost itself in river mysteries.
The church lies broken near the fallen spire;
   For here, among these old and human things,
Death swept along the street with feet of fire,
   And went upon his way with moaning wings.
Above the cluster of these homes forlorn,
   Where giant fleeces of the shell are rolled,
O’er pavements by the kneeling herdsmen worn,
   The wounded saints look out to see their fold.

And silence follows fast, no evening peace,
   But leaden stillness, when the thunder wanes,
Haunting the slender branches of the trees,
   And settling low upon the listless plains!

                                                                    H. A.

Spectator.


 FOUR THINGS I ASK.

FOUR things, Almighty God, I ask
For England in her awful task.

The passionate heart of one who fights,
Compassionate even when she smites. [page 77]

Set lips, and close, from which shall fall
Speech, grave and pure, if speech at all.

Hands bloody—since it must be!—seen
By Thee, indubitably clean.

Eyes which, though dimmed with blood or tear,
Or the dark shadow itself, see clear.

Four things I ask:  four things and one—
The mind that was in Christ Thy Son.

So well equipped shall England stand,
Arisen again at Heaven’s command.

So view her from Thy seat above,
God!  full of noble wrath—and love.

                                                   G. H. Leonard.

British Weekly.


 REVENGE FOR RHEIMS.

THOU Permanence amid all things that pass!
Unchanging Thought amid the drift of change;
Thou Rally of the Soul in days of dross,
               How art Thou fallen!

Thou Prayer, that ever-rising, yet remained,
That for seven hundred years didst sing and soar,
Spirit with wings outspread tip-toe on Earth.
               How art Thou fallen! [page 78]

Thou Vision frozen, and Thou Sigh transfixed;
Thou Camp of dreams, Thou Fort of faith unstormed,
Time-worn, yet wearying t’ward Eternity,
               How art Thou fallen!

Thou wast to France her Inspiration old,
Thou hadst for ivy earliest memories;
From Thee her Knights, her Angels long looked down;
               How art Thou fallen!

What vengeance for Thy ruin shall She hurl?
O, be that vengeance that the ruin stand,
Only those Choirs for ever unrestored!
               Ever unfallen!

                                                       Stephen Phillips.

From “Panama.”  Published by John Lane.


 THE FLIGHT INTO ENGLAND.

 (Noël Belge.)

FORWARD through the dark blue night,
   Forward the wanderers pressed,
Joseph trudged at the ass’s head
   In front and took no rest,
And the mother clasped the infant child
   Against her empty breast.

Forward through the dark blue night
   They trotted, six leagues hence,
Six leagues of flight from city walls
   And soldiers in their tents,
From bloody men and the woeful cries
   Of the Holy Innocents. [page 79]

“What seekest thou so fast, old man,
   Along with thy young wife?”
“We seek new men, we seek new skies,
   New hearts, new souls, new life,
To shield the blessèd Son of God
   From the blast of deadly strife.”

Forward through the dark blue night
   They have fled, with foot so fleet,
The sound of their footfall dies away
   And is lost in the desert street,
And the wind has swept from every path
   The traces of their feet.

                                    Emile Cammaerts.

From “War Poems and Other Translations,” by Lord Curzon.  Published by John Lane.


 THE BLIND MAN AND HIS SON.

“THE distant boom of angry guns
   No longer fills my ear.
Oh!  whither have we fled, my son?
   Tell me that I may hear.”
      “Father, we are in England!”

“No more I hear the stormy wind
   Amid the rigging roar,
I feel beneath my tottering feet
   The firm ground of the shore.
Is this the end of all our woes?
   Shall we not suffer more?”
      “Father, we are in England!” [page 80]

“I hear the sound of kindly speech,
   But do not understand,
I feel I’ve wandered very far,
   Far from the fatherland;
How comes it that these tones are not
   Those of an unknown land?”
      “Father, we are in England!”

“I feel in all the air around
   Freedom’s sweet breath respire,
I feel celestial fingers creep
   Along my quivering lyre;
The birds, the trees, the babbling streams
   Speak to me of our home,
Why does my grief less bitter grow
   And rest do dear become?”
      “Father, we are in England!”

“Bend down upon thy knees, my son,
   And take into thy hand,
Thy wounded hand, and mine, somewhat
   Of the earth of this good land,
That dreaming of our home, we two
   May kiss the soil of England!”

                                Emile Cammaerts.

From “War Poems and Other Translations,” by Lord Curzon.  Published by John Lane. [page 81]


 KEEPER.

WHAT would the world be without you,
if you failed her?
Girdled with your silver girdle,
You have held your place so long;
Girdled with your silver girdle,
You have stood aside, untroubled.
You have stood and watched and listened
and kept balance.
When they turned to you for judgment,
you have spoken.
Who would speak as you have spoken,
if in this you failed the world?
Girdled with your silver girdle,
you stood ready.
Always when your strength was needed,
you were strong.
Always when your word was spoken,
by your strength you have upheld it.
Who would answer the world’s voices
if you failed her?

                                      Helen Mackay.

From “London One November.”  Published by Andrew Melrose, Ltd.


 OUT OF ROME.

OUT of Rome they march as when
Scipio led his serried men,
   While the cry of “Viva!  Viva!”
Rings again and yet again. [page 82]

They, in dreams of high desire,
Rousing them to holy ire,
   On the Capitolian altars
Have beheld the vestal fire.

Rear and vanguard, first and last,
They have caught the virile, vast,
   Emulous centurion ardour
From some legion of the past.

Win they laurel wreath or rue,
We must feel that this is true,
   That the ancient Roman valour
Thrills through Italy anew!

                          Clinton Scollard.

From “Italy in Arms.”


 A CURE FOR DEPRESSION.

MOMENTS there are of transient gloom
   When life for me appears to lose
Its rosy aspect and assume
   The turnip’s pessimistic hues;

As when o’ mornings, gazing out
   Across my patch of fog-grey river,
I feel a twitch of poor man’s gout,
   Or else a touch of liver; [page 83]

Or when, forgetting Watt’s rhymes
   On puppy dogs that bark and bite,
The Westminster attacks the Times,
   Starting a most unseemly fight;

Or when I find some Labour sheet
   Still left at large to boom rebellion,
Or hear the thin pacific bleat
   Of “my hon. friend” Trevelyan;

When enemy craft career above
   Unchallenged (till they’ve had their fling);
Or little Willy’s vernal shove
   Anticipates the dawn of spring;

When neutrals want an open door
   Kept wide for their commercial dealings,
And we must miss to lose the War
   Rather than hurt their feelings.

Such moments, making Hope look bleak,
   And Courage turn a little blue,
Even with hearts as tough as teak,
   May well occur; but when they do,

This thought will readjust your bile,
   And prove the best of appetizers:
Would I exchange (here’s where you smile)
   Our chances with the Kaiser’s?

                                     Sir Owen Seaman.

By special permission of Punch. [page 84]


 “THE DAY.”

YOU boasted the Day and toasted the Day,
   And now the Day has come.
Blasphemer, braggart and coward all,
Little you reck off the numbing ball,
The blasting shell of the “white arm’s” fall,
   As they speed poor humans home.

You spied for the Day, you lied for the Day;
   And woke the Day’s red spleen,
Monster who asked God’s aid Divine,
Then strewed His seas with the ghastly mine;
Not all the waters of the Rhine
   Can wash thy foul hands clean.

You dreamed for the Day, you schemed for the Day;
   Watch how the Day will go,
Slayer of age and youth and prime
(Defenceless slain for never a crime),
Thou art steeped in crime as a hog in slime,
   False friend and cowardly foe.

You have sown for the Day, you have grown for the Day;
   Yours is the harvest red,
Can you hear the groans and the awful cries?
Can you see the heap of slain that lies,
And sightless, turned to the flame-split skies,
   The glassy eyes of the dead? [page 85]

You have wronged for the Day, you have longed for the Day
   That lit the awful flame.
‘Tis nothing to you that hill and plain
Yield sheaves of dead men amid the grain;
That windows mourn for their loved ones slain,
   And mothers curse thy name.

But after the Day there’s a price to pay
   For the sleepers under the sod,
And He you have mocked for many a day—
Listen and hear what He has to say:—
“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.”
   What can you say to God?

                                                       Henry Chappell.

The Daily Express.


 SOLDIER’S SONG.

I  shall return, my lass, my lass;
   I shall be with you in the spring,
War, like Winter, will pass, will pass.
         I shall return!

This is no final kiss I give:
   There will be more in months to come.
   Courage!  Droop not gray and dumb!
I shall live on . . . as you will live. [page 86]

How do I know?  I cannot say.
   Ask of the robins southward bound!
   Love, we too shall both be found
Here with a song this coming May.

I shall return, my lass, my lass;
   I shall be with you in the spring,
War, like Winter, will pass, will pass.
         I shall return!
                              Richard Butler Glaenzer.

Boston Transcript. 


 THE PLACE WAS BASKING IN THE SUN.

THE place was basking in the sun,
   Extremely warm and bright;
The mailèd fist was stretching out
   To grab whate’er it might;
And this was very wrong, because
   It wasn’t very right.

The world was watching sulkily,
   A frown upon her face,
Because she thought the mailèd fist
   Distinctly out of place.
“His clear intention,” she remarked,
   “Amounts to a disgrace.” [page 87]

The Kaiser and the Chancellor
   Were walking hand in hand;
They wept like anything to see
   Such lots of foreign land;
“If this were only Germanized,”
   They said, “it would be grand!”

“If seven hosts of peaceful Huns
   Swept it with fire and sword,
Do you suppose,” the Kaiser said,
   “Culture could be restored!”
“I doubt it,” said the Chancellor,
   And looked a trifle bored.

“Oh, Nations, come and walk with us,”
   The wily Kaiser cried,
“A pleasant talk, a pleasant walk,
   O’er frontiers far and wide;
For we can do with two of you
   To help on either side!”

The wise Italian winked his eye
   And cautiously arose;
Then slowly spread his fingers out
   And placed them to his nose,
Meaning to say that he would do
   Exactly as he chose.

But Hungry Austrians hurried up,
   Eager to take a hand,
Willing to walk a little way
   Behind the German band;
Their simple Czechs looked out of place
   ‘Midst uniforms so grand. [page 88]

The Kaiser and the Chancellor
   Walked on a mile or two,
Until they reached the Balkan States,
   Conveniently new;
A spot where raising trouble was
   An easy thing to do.

“The time has come,” the Kaiser said,
   “To talk of blood and wars;
Of Me, and Germany, and God;
   And Culture, and the Cause;
And why the sea is much too hot;
   And whether bears have claws!”

“Please, sir,” the simple Austrians cried,
   Turning a little blue,
“We did not know that was the sort
   Of thing you meant to do!”
“How kind I am,” the Kaiser said,
   “To plan this treat for you.

“A place within the summer sun
   Is what attracts my gaze;
A certain studied frightfulness
   Shall hall-mark all our ways;
So hand your dry old treaties up,
   And let us start a blaze!

“It was so nice of you to come
   And help us toe the line;
Your aid is quite essential to
   My long-prepared design!”
The Chancellor said nothing but,
   “This paper’s burning fine!” [page 89]

“It seems a shame,” the Austrians cried,
   “To kindle such a fire;
The dirty smoke is in our eyes;
   Our feet are in the mire.”
The Kaiser answered nothing but,
   “Send off another wire!”

“I mourn you,” said the Chancellor,
   “I deeply sympathize,
We did not know the job was such
   A very nasty size!”
The Kaiser put his helmet on,
   And looked extremely wise.

“Oh, Austrians,” said the Chancellor,
   “You are a simple race,
Shall we be trotting off to find
   Some other sunny place?”—
But answer came there none, because
   They’d vanished into space.

                                    Horace Wyatt.

From “Malice in Kulturland.”


 YOU ARE OLD, FATHER WILLIAM.

“YOU are old, Father William,” the young man said,
   “And the end of your life is in sight;
Yet you’re frequently patting your God on the head—
   Do you think, at your age, it is right?” [page 90]

“In my youth,” said his sire, “I established my case
   As a being apart and divine;
And I think if I try to keep God in His place,
   He ought to support me in mine.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “as I mentioned before,
   And flight is exceedingly tiring;
And yet you attempt, like an eagle, to soar—
   What made you so very aspiring?”

“From my youth,” said the sage, “I was never the thing;
   My conduct was always absurd;
And now I feel certain, unless I take wing,
   That Europe will give me the bird.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “and a bit double-faced,
   And your head is too large for your hat;
Yet you try to remodel the world to your taste—
   Pray what is the meaning of that?”

“In my youth,” said his sire, “from the day of my birth,
   Such merit through culture I got,
That its blessings I’d force on the whole blooming earth,
   If it meant killing off all the lot.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “as I think you’re aware,
   For it’s certainly time that you knew it;
Yet I see you throw bricks, and not buns, to the bear—
   Do you think it is tactful to do it?” [page 91]

“I have answered three questions, and that is enough,”
   Said his father, “and now I have done;
Do you think I could listen all day to such stuff?
   Trot along, and steal pictures, my son!”

                                                                Horace Wyatt.

From “Malice in Kulturland.”


 TRUTHFUL WILLIE.

A SIMPLE, earnest-minded youth,
   Who wore in both his eyes
A calm, pellucid lake of Truth—
   What should he know of lies?

I met a gentle German Prince,
   His name was Truthful WILL,
An honest type—and ever since,
   His candour haunts me still.

“About this War—come, tell me, Sir,
   If you would be so kind,
Just any notions which occur
   To your exalted mind.”

“Frankly, I cannot bear,” said he,
   “The very thought of strife;
It seems so sad; it seems to me
   A wicked waste of life. [page 92]

“Thank Father’s God that I can say
   My constant aim was Peace;
I simply lived to see the Day
   (Der Tag) when wars would cease.

“But, just as I was well in train
   To realize my dream,
Came England, all for lust of fain,
   And spoilt my beauteous scheme.

“But tell me how the rumours run;
   Be frank and tell the worst
Touching myself; you speak to one
   With whom the Truth comes first.”

“Prince,” I replied, “the vulgar view
   Pictured you on your toes
Eager for gore; they say that you
   Were ever bellicose.

“’Twas you, the critics say, who led
   The loud War Party’s cry
For blood and iron.”  “Oh!” he said,
   “Oh!  what a dreadful lie!

“War Party?  Well, I’m father’s pet,
   And if such things had been,
He must have let me know, and yet
   I can’t think what you mean.”

“But your BERNHARDI,” I replied,
   “He preached the Great War Game.”
“BERNHARDI!  who was he?” he cried;
   “I never heard his name! [page 93]

“Dear father must be told of him;
   Father, who loathes all war,
Is looking rather grey and grim,
   But that should make him roar!”

So, with a smile that knew no art,
   He left me well content
Thus to have communed, heart to heart,
   With one so innocent.

And still I marvelled, having scanned,
   Those eyes so full of Truth,
“Oh, why do men misunderstand
   This bright and blameless youth?”

                                Sir Owen Seaman.

By special permission of Punch. 


 AT THE GOLDEN HORN.

THE sunrise cry from many minarets
   Floats down the vernal morning, clear and cool;
From Asian shores a bland breeze westward sets,
   And stirs the almond trees of Istamboul.

As on the mosques the first rays slantwise shine,
   And golden glory floods the gloomy gray,
The city of imperial Constantine
   Uplifts her weary lids to greet the day. [page 94]

The terror of decay upon her lies;
   Her heart is palsied though her face be fair,
Though still majestic to the cloudless skies
   Aya Sofia rears its dome in the air.

What though the fitful glow of life seem warm,
   There broods a fatal apathy o’er all;—
It is the hush that bodes the breaking storm,
   The calm that comes before the final fall!

                                               Clinton Scollard.

From “The Vale of Shadows.”


 THE KAISER AND BELGIUM.

HE said:  “Thou petty people, let me pass!
   What canst thou do but bow to me and kneel?”
But sudden a dry land caught fire like grass,
   And answer hurtled but from shell and steel.
He looked for silence but a thunder came;
   Upon him from Liège a leaden hail!
All Belgium flew up at his throat in flame,
   Till at her gates, amazed, his legions quail!
Take heed, for now on haunted ground thy tread,
   There bowed a mightier War-Lord to his fall;
Fear!  lest that very grass again grow red
   With blood of German now, as then of Gaul!
If him whom God destroys He maddens first,
Then thy destruction slake thy madman’s thirst.

                                                      Stephen Phillips.

From “Panama.”  Published by John Lane. [page 95]


 THE PYRES.

PYRES in the night, in the night!
   And the roaring yellow and red.
Trooper, trooper, why so white?
   We are out to gather our dead.
We have brought dry boughs from the bloody wood
   And the torn hill-side;
We have felled great trunks, wet with blood
   Of brothers that died;
We have piled them high for a flaming bed,
Hemlock and ash and pine for a bed,
A throne in the night, a throne for a bed—
And we go to gather our dead.

There where the oaks loom, dark and high,
   Over the sombre hill,
   Body on body, cold and still,
Under the stars they lie.
There where the silver river runs,
   Careless and calm as fate,
Mowed, mowed by the terrible guns,
   The stricken brothers wait.
There by the smouldering house, and there
Where the red smoke hangs on the heavy air,
Under the ruins, under the hedge,
Cheek by cheek at the forest-edge;
Back to breast, three men deep,
   Hearing not bugle or drum,
In the desperate trench they died to keep,
Under the starry dome they sleep,
   Murmuring, “Brothers, come!” [page 96]

This way!  I heard a call
   Like a stag’s when he dies;
Under the willows I saw him fall,
   Under the willows he lies
Give me your hand.  Raise him up.
   Lift his head.  Strike a light.
This morning we shared a crust and a cup,
   He wants no supper to-night.
Take his feet.  Here the shells
   Broke all day long,
Moaning and shrieking hell’s
   Bacchanalian song!
Last night he helped me bear
   Men to hell’s fêting.
To-morrow, maybe, somewhere,
   We, too, shall lie in waiting.

Pyres in the night, in the night!
   Weary and sick and dumb,
Under the flickering, faint starlight
   The drooping gleaners come.
Out of the darkness, dim
   Shadowy shadow-bearers,
Dragging into the bale fire’s rim
   Pallid death-farers.

Pyres in the night, in the night!
   In the plain, on the hill;
No volleys for their last rite,
   We need our powder—to kill.
High on their golden bed,
   Pile up the dead! [page 97]

Pyres in the night, in the night!
   Torches, piercing the gloom!
Look!  How the sparks take flight!
   Stars, stars, make room!
Smoke, that was bone and blood!
   Hark!  The deep roar.
It is the souls telling God
   The Glory of WAR!

                         Hermann Hagedorn.

The Outlook. 


 I AM WAR.

I AM a pestilence
   Sweeping the world—
Hate is the root of me,
Death is the fruit of me,
   Swift is my stroke;
Blood is the sign of me,
Steel is the twine of me,
   Thus shall ye know me:
I am the death of Life,
I am the life of Death,
      I am War!

I am a madness
   Riding the necks of men—
Champing of nations armed,
Stamping of war-horse hoofs
   Charging unbridled; [page 98]

Clashing of bayonets,
Flashing of sword-blades,
Rumbling of cannon-wheels,
Crumbling of kingdoms,
   These are my harbingers:
I am the death of Law,
I am the law of Death,
      I am War!

I am a harlot
   Seducing the nations;
Diplomats lie for me,
Patriots die for me,
   Lovers I lack not—
Cannon-mouths speak of me,
Battlefields reek of me,
Widowed wives shriek of me,
   Cursing my name:
I am the death of Joy,
I am the joy of Death,
      I am War!

                              Alter Brody

The Outlook.


 AMMUNITION COLUMN.

 (Written within sound of the guns on the British front.)

I am only a cog in a giant machine, a link of an endless chain,
And the rounds are drawn, and the rounds are fired, and the empties return again; [page 99]
Railroad, lorry and limber, battery, column and park;
To the shelf where the set fuse waits the breech, from the quay where the shells embark—
We have watered and fed, and eaten our beef; the long dull day drags by,
As I sit here watching our “Archibalds” strafing an empty sky;
Puff and flash on the far-off blue round the speck one guesses the ‘plane—
Smoke and spark of the gun-machine that is fed by the endless chain.

I am only a cog in a giant machine, a little link in the chain,
Waiting a word from the wagon-lines that the guns are hungry again:—
Column-wagon to battery-wagon, and battery-wagon to gun;
To the leader kneeling ‘twixt trail and wheel from the shops where the steam-lathes run—
There’s a lone soul humming a hint of a song in the barn where the drivers sleep;
And I hear the plash of the orderly’s horse as he canters him down the lane—
Another cog in the gun-machine, a link in the selfsame chain.

I am only a cog in a giant machine, but a vital link in the chain;
And the Captain has sent from the wagon-line to fill his wagons again;— [page 100]
From wagon-limber to gunpit dump; from loader’s forearm at breech,
To the working party that melts away when the shrapnel bullets screech.
So the restless section pulls out once more in column of route from the right,
At the tail of a blood-red afternoon; so the flux of another night
Bears back the wagons we fill at dawn to the sleeping column again . . .
Cog on cog in the gun-machine, link on link in the chain!

                                                                                                     Gilbert Frankau.

From “The Song of the Guns.”  Houghton, Mifflin Co., Boston.


 THE BALLAD OF THE IRON CROSS.*

UPON my coat a cross is pinned,
   Upon the cross a soul;
Upon my heart a weight I bear
   For honour and for dole—
An iron cross with eight sharp points
   With silver edged around.

An iron cross with eight sharp points,
   With each point like a nail;
An iron cross with eight sharp points,
   And each one with its tale—
Each of a hundred souls I sent
   In agony to hell!

*The commander of Submarine No. 12 has been awarded the Iron Cross.—War News. [page 101]


It was a still and starless night
   When we sailed down the Strait;
Our boat was swift, our men were bold,
   Our hearts were firm as fate,
When in the darkness we discerned
   The masthead of the foe.

It was a still and starless night
   When we dived beneath the wave—
Our boat was swift, our men were bold,
   And we heard a quick-fire rave;—
And down we dived beneath the sea
   To strike for life or death.

It was a still and starless night
   When the word was heard from me—
And a fearful flash lit up the sky
   And a roaring rent the sea—
And down she sank with all her guns
   And twice four hundred men!

She did not fire a single shot
   When we fled into the night;
She could not signal to the shore
   To warn them of her plight—
And down she sank with all her guns
   And twice four hundred men!

We did not stop a moment
   To save the struggling men,
But listened to the pulsing fear
   That tremored through us then—
And we slunk away like a beast of prey
   Into the yawning night. [page 102]

God pity us!  We did not stop
   To save the struggling men,
But listened to the pulsing fear
   That tremored through us then;
And we skulked away like a beast of prey
   Into the yawning night!

It was a gray and ghastly day
   When we sailed into port;
They cheered us from the crowded shores,
   They thundered from the fort—
But in my spirits stalked remorse,
   And horror in my heart.

The news flashed over a thousand wires,
   The story was retold;
They toasted me in court and camp,
   They called me brave and bold;
And on the lapel of my coat
   They pinned the Iron Cross!

Five and forty sinful souls
   Plunged with me in the murk—
Five and forty willing men
   That did the devil’s work—
But me they gave an Iron Cross
   To wear upon my heart!

I did not drive the engine,
   I did not steer the ship;
I did not loose the hellish bolt
   Upon its fearful trip—
But me they gave the Iron Cross
   To crucify my soul! [page 103]

An Iron Cross with eight sharp points
   With each point like a nail;
An Iron Cross with eight sharp points,
   And each one with its tale—
Each of a hundred souls I sent
   In agony to hell!

Eight hundred beautiful bodies of men
   Plunged in the vast-bottomed deep;
Eight hundred beautiful souls of men
   Hushed in eternal sleep—
I cannot look upon the sun
   A-thinking of them there!

I cannot look upon the sun,
   I cannot breathe the air;
I cannot look upon the earth
   With fields and flowers fair—
A-thinking of eight hundred men
   Rotting beneath the sea.

Christ pity me!  I cannot bear
   The burden on my soul;
The way is long and set with thorns
   And darkness is the goal—
Christ pity me!  I cannot bear
   The weight of such a Cross!

                                 Alter Brody.

The Outlook. [page 104]


 THE NEW MARS.

I WAR against the folly that is War,
   The sacrifice that pity hath not stayed,
The Great Delusion men have perished for,
   The lie that hath the soul of men betrayed:
I war for justice and for human right,
Against the lawless tyranny of Might.

A monstrous cult has held the world too long:
   The worship of a Moloch that hath slain
Remorselessly the young, the brave, the strong,
   Indifferent to the unmeasured pain,
The accumulated horror and despair,
That stricken Earth no longer wills to bear.

My goal is peace,—not peace at any price,
   While yet ensanguined jaws of Evil yawn
Hungry and pitiless:  nay, peace were vice
   Until the cruel dragon-teeth be drawn,
And the wronged victims of Oppression be
Delivered from its hateful rule, and free!

When comes that hour, resentment laid aside,
   Into a ploughshare will I beat my sword;
The weaker Nation’s strength shall be my pride,
   Their gladness my exceeding great reward;
And not in vain shall be the tears now shed,
Nor vain the service of the gallant dead. [page 105]

I war against the folly that is War,
   The futile sacrifice that naught hath stayed,
The Great Delusion men have perished for,
   The lie that hath the souls of men betrayed:
For faith I war, humanity and trust;
For peace on earth—a lasting peace, and just!

                                        Florence Earle Coates.

The Athenæum.


 GODS OF WAR.

FATE wafts us from the pygmies’ shore;
   We swim beneath the epic skies:
A Rome and Carthage war once more,
   And wider empires are the prize;
Where the peaked galleys clashed, lo, these
Our iron dragons of the seas.

High o’er the cloudy battle sweep
   The wingèd chariots in their flight.
The steely creatures of the deep
   Cleave the dark water’s ancient night.
Below, above, in wave, in air
New worlds for conquest everywhere.

More terrible than spear or sword
   Those stars that burst with fiery breath:
More loud the battle cries are poured
   Along a hundred leagues of death.
So do they fight.  How have ye warred,
Defeated Armies of the Lord? [page 106]

This is the Dark immortal’s hour;
   His victory, whoever fail;
His prophets have not lost their power:
   Caesar and Attila prevail.
These are your legions still, proud ghosts,
These myriads embattled hosts.

How wanes Thine empire, Prince of Peace!
   With the fleet circling of the suns
The ancient gods their power increase.
   Lo, how Thine own anointed ones
Do pour upon the warring bands
The devil’s blessing from their hands.

Who dreamed a dream ‘mid outcasts born
   Could overbrow the pride of Kings?
They pour on Christ the ancient scorn.
   His dove its gold and silver wings
Has spread.  Perhaps it nests in flame
In outcasts who abjure His name.

Choose ye your rightful gods, nor pay
   Lip reverence that the heart denies,
O Nations.  Is not Zeus to-day,
   The thunderer from the epic skies,
More noble than the Prince of Peace?  Is Thor
Not nobler for a world at war?

They fit the dreams of power we hold,
   Those gods whose names are with us still.
Men in their image made of old
   The high companions of their will.
Who seek an airy empire’s pride,
Would they pray to the Crucified? [page 107]

O outcast Christ, it was too soon
   For flags of battle to be furled
While life was yet at the hot hot noon.
   Come in the twilight of the world:
Its kings may greet Thee without scorn
And crown Thee then without a thorn.

                                                             “A. E.”


 FORWARD.

A thousand creeds and battle-cries,
   A thousand warring social schemes,
A thousand new moralities,
   And twenty thousand thousand dreams!

Each on his own anarchic way,
   From the old order breaking free,—
Our ruined world desires, you say,
   License, once more, not Liberty.

But ah, beneath the struggling foam,
   When storm and change are on the deep,
How quietly the tides come home,
   And how the depths of sea-shine sleep;

And we who march towards a goal,
   Destroying only to fulfil
The law, the law of that great soul
   Which moves beneath your alien will;

We, that like foemen meet the past
   Because we bring the future, know
We only fight to achieve at last
   A great reunion with our foe; [page 108]

Reunion in the truths that stand
   When all our wars are rolled away;
Reunion of the heart and hand
   And of the prayers wherewith we pray;

Reunion in the common needs,
   The common strivings of mankind;
Reunion of our warring creeds
   In the one God that dwells behind.

Then—in that day—we shall not meet
   Wrong with new wrong, but right with right;
Our faith shall make your faith complete
   When our battalions reunite.

Forward!—what use in idle words?—
   Forward, O warriors of the soul!
There will be breaking up of swords
   When that new morning makes us whole.

                                                    Alfred Noyes.

By special permission of Frederick A. Stokes Co.


 STAIN NOT THE SKY.

YE gods of battle, lords of fear,
   Who work your iron will as well
As once ye did with sword and spear,
   With rifled gun and rending shell,—
Masters of sea and land, forbear
The fierce invasion of the inviolate air! [page 109]

With patient daring man hath wrought
   A hundred years for power to fly,
And shall we make his wingèd thought
   A hovering horror in the sky,
Where flocks of human eagles sail,
Dropping their bolts of death on hill and dale?

Ah!  no, the sunset is too pure,
   The dawn too fair, the noon too bright,
For wings of terror, and betray the night
That keeps for man, above his wars,
The tranquil vision of untroubled stars.

Pass on, pass on, ye lords of fear!
   Your footsteps in the sea are red,
And black on earth your paths appear,
   With ruined homes and heaps of dead.
Pass on, and end your transient reign,
And leave the blue of heaven without a stain.

The wrong ye wrought will fall to dust,
   The right ye shielded will abide;
The world at last will learn to truth
   In law to guard, and love to guide;
The Peace of God that answers prayer
Will fall like dew from the inviolate air.

                                      Henry Van Dyke.

The Independent. [page 110]


 TO LESSING.

May, 1915.

YOU do not know—nay—for if you knew,
   Your soul would burst the bounds of time and space
   To stand here crying in the market-place,
Crying to those who know not what they do.
Of all thy country’s children, you
   The best could serve her in her desperate case—
   You whom no power could force to aught of base,
Whose life was but the passion to be true.
Ah!  to what end your spirit’s high emprise,
   Schiller’s white flame, Goethe’s Olympic calm,
If after you come men of low surmise,
   Men who belie your truth without a qualm,
Who think to enjoy—God’s love—a place in the sun,
With all around black Hell and faith fordone!

                                                                R. R. Morgan.

The Living Age.


 LUTHER.

LUTHER, the world has need of thee!
   Thy country needs thee at this hour
   To scourge its world-embattled power
And stir to flame democracy.
Aye, for the fervour of thy words
Were more than guns, were more than swords! [page 111]

Couldst thou but speak as thou of old
   Didst, with thy stern admonishings,
   The dawn of far diviner things
Might come; the people might behold
The fall of arrogance, the fall
Of that which holds fair freedom thrall!

Luther, the world has need of thee!
   Thy country needs thy voice to show
   What pain, what wantonness, what woe
Hate works, and greed and jealousy.
Thy voice!—for then might topple down
Sceptre and prince and king and crown!

                                        Clinton Scollard.

From “The Vale of Shadows.”


 FIVE SOULS.

FIRST SOUL.

I WAS peasant of the Polish plain;
   I left my plough because the message ran:—
   Russia, in danger, needed every man
To save her from the Teuton; and was slain.
   I gaze my life for freedom—This I know:
   For those who bade me fight had told me so. [page 112]

SECOND SOUL.

I was a Tyrolese, a mountaineer;
   I gladly left my mountain home to fight
   Against the brutal, treacherous Muscovite;
And died in Poland on a Cossack spear.
   I gave my life for freedom—This I know:
   For those who bade me fight had told me so.

THIRD SOUL.

I worked in Lyons at my weaver’s loom,
   When suddenly the Prussian despot hurled
   His felon blow at France and at the world;
Then I went forth to Belgium and my doom.
   I gave my life for freedom—This I know:
   For those who bade me fight had told me so.

FOURTH SOUL.

I owned a vineyard by the wooded Main,
   Until the Fatherland, begrit by foes
   Lusting her downfall, called me, and I rose
Swift to the call—and died in fair Lorraine.
   I gave my life for freedom—This I know:
   For those who bade me fight had told me so.

FIFTH SOUL.

I worked in a great shipyard by the Clyde.
   There came a sudden word of wars declared,
   Of Belgium, peaceful, helpless, unprepared,
Asking our aid:  I joined the ranks, and died,
   I gave my life for freedom—This I know:
   For those who bade me fight had told me so.

                                                      W. N. Ewer. [page 113]


 GERMANY, MY GERMANY!

GERMANY, my Germany!
   Land of magic and of song,
   To all youth thou dost belong.
   Often in my childhood dreams
   Have I sailed thy castled streams;
   Met, when lost in woodland ways,
   Thy immortal elves and fays;
   And have hailed thy Christmas tree
   Whence the Christchild smiled on me.

Germany, my Germany!
   How I tremble lest the years
   Bring thee legacies of tears!
   Lay thy proud ear to the ground,
   Hear that muffled, angry sound
   From hearts bereft on distant strands,
   From ravaged homes in nearer lands—
   A fearsome note—I yearn to save
   Thy children from that tidal wave!

Germany, my Germany!
   Not for valour in fair flight
   Swells the warning voice to-night;
   But for deeds that brand thy name
   With the burning mark of shame—
   From this carnival of crime
   Snatch thy noble soul in time,
   Before the rising flood of Hate
   Engulf and leave thee desolate.

                   Mary Thacher Higginson.

Originally appeared in the New York Evening Post. [page 114]


 TWO ON THE BATTLEFIELD.

“WHO are you, friend?”
“No friend.  Your foe.
You shot me in the battle of the Aisne.”
“I?”
“You shot a bullet through my breast,
And ended all my hopes.”
“And did you die?”
“I died, friend cursing you.”
“I prayed you would not die!
I shut my eyes and shot at you.
I prayed you would not die!”
“I died.  But just before
My eyes were covered with that film
That shuts out light
I shot at you.”
“Ah, you, then!”
“I.”
“God help us both!”
.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
“What did you leave behind you
That you loved?”
“A woman white as a pale flower,
And trembling like a flower
Blown by the pathless wind.
I held her to my heart.
And kissed her on the mouth.
And left her,
Trembling like a flower. . . .
And you?  What did you leave?”
“My wife and my young child, [page 115]
A boy with yellow hair
And wistful questioning eyes
That smiled at me
While she wept clinging to me.
I had to tear her strong young arms
From round my neck.”
“God help the women waiting in the world!”
.     .    .     .     .     .     .     .     .
“Here, take my hand!
I would our women folk
Could see us now,
Together, arm holding arm;
And weep upon each other’s hearts,
Each comfort each.
For lack of us.”
“The phantom hosts
On phantom horses wild with fear,
Ride flying by
To seek and question God,
Why this should be.”
“Here, take my hand,
Dear brother whom I killed
And who killed me.
Let us go on together
Up to God,
And question with the rest.”

                                               Lucine Finch.

The Outlook. [page 116]


 TOWARDS THE MORNING.

UNKNOWN, unknowing, thro’ the night,
   Two scions of immortal race
Strove, grappling, might with utmost might,
   In fell, implacable embrace.
   Each fought avenging the disgrace
Of outraged Truth and Trampled Right.
At daybreak, by the wan sad light,
   Each looked into a Sister’s face.

                                           C. H. Herford.

The Nation.


 QUO VADITIS?

“WHERE do ye go
   Pale line of broken men?”
We only know
   To die.  Could we die twice we’d die again.

“Wherefore?”  The call
   Of a strange voice—was it of death or birth?
Came to us all
   To all of us, the men of all the earth.

“And to what end?”
   We ask not, but we see
The self-same light which kindles in our friend
   Shine from the faces of our enemy. [page 117]

“Same light, same doom;
   And for what purpose?”  Deep
We lie in the same womb
   The slain—the slain, together in one sleep.

                                             Margaret Sackville.

The Nation.


 THE LINT.

(After the French of Sully Prudhomme, composed in 1870 during the siege of Paris by the Prussians.)

THERE is no star on the black night.
   With downcast eyes and patient ken,
Joan strips and folds the bandage white
   For wounded men.

Her lover’s in the ranks.  Poor heart!
   To-day she watched his form grow dim,
And all her men-folk too depart
   Along with him.

To her is borne by dark, by day,
   The surly cannon’s dreadful threat
Over the starving town that aye
   Replies, “Not yet!”

So hour by hour she smoothes the bale,
   Still piling up the linten heap,
Till now she feels her fingers fail
   And fall on sleep. [page 118]

And while, her holy labour o’er,
   She lies at last in sleep well-earned,
She feels the handle of her door
   Is softly turned.

An unknown visitant is there,
   A mild and frank-eyed maiden pale,
That hides her crown of golden hair
   In grief’s dark veil.

“The red cross on my sleeve is sewn,
   Fear nothing then,” she says.  “The gray
Long road I trod, how I am known,
   You’ll know straightway.

“Margaret’s my name.  I’ve left behind
   My Rhineland home.  And, fond and true
I love a lad whose heart’s unkind—
   The same as you.

“Ah!  by the burden of our woes,
   Our hopes, our years that both accord,
We are sisters.  Then leave hate to those
   That wield the sword.

“And let us both strip lint to bind,
   For blood is red in every limb,
And those that love have but one mind.
   Come, weep for him.”

Thus spake the fair young girl, bereft.
   And swift with fervid fingers then
Joan drew the long thread from the weft
   For wounded men.

                                            Wilfrid Thorley.

The Nation. [page 119]


 HARVEST MOON:  1914.

OVER the twilight field,
The overflowing field,—
Over the glimmering field,
And bleeding furrows with their sodden yield
Of sheaves that still did writhe,
After the scythe;
The teeming field and darkly overstrewn
With all the garnered fulness of that noon—
Two looked upon each other.
One was a Woman men had called their mother;
And one, the Harvest Moon.

And one, the Harvest Moon,
Who stood, who gazed
On those unquiet gleanings where they bled;
Till the lone Woman said:

“But we were crazed. . . .
We should laugh now together, I and you,
We two.
You, for ever dreaming it was worth
A star’s while to look on and light the Earth;
And I, for ever telling to my mind,
Glory it was, and gladness, to give birth
To humankind!
Yes, I, that ever thought it not amiss
To give the breath to men,
For men to slay again:
Lording it over anguish but to give
My life, that men might live
For this. [page 120]

You will be laughing now, remembering
I called you once Dead World, and barren thing,
Yes, so we named you then,
You, far more wise
Than to give life to men.”

Over the field, that there
Gave back the skies
A scattered upward stare
From blank white eyes,—
The furrowed field that lay
Striving awhile, through many a bleeding dune
Of throbbing clay, but dumb and quiet soon,
She looked, and went her way—
The Harvest Moon.

                                   Josephine Preston Peabody.

Boston Transcript.


 FOR TWO VOICES.

“O MOTHER, mother, isn’t it fun,
The soldiers marching past in the sun!”
“Child, child, what are you saying?
Come to Church.  We should be praying.”

“Look, mother, at their bright spears!”
“The leaves are falling like women’s tears.”
“You are not looking at what I see.”
“Nay, but I look at what must be.”

“Hark to the pipes!  See the flags flying!”
“I hear the sound of a girl crying.”
“How many hundreds before they are done!”
“How many mothers wanting a son!” [page 121]

“Here rides the general pacing slow!”
“Well he may, if he knows what I know.”
“O this war, what a glorious game!”
“Sin and shame, sin and shame.”

                                         Maurice Hewlett.


 A LITTLE GRIMY-FINGERED GIRL.

 (La Place du Théàtre Française, Paris, February, 1918.)

A LITTLE grimy-fingered girl
   In stringy black and broken shoes
Stands where sharp human eddies swirl
   And offers—news:
News from the front, “’L’Intransigeant,’
   Misieu, comme d’ordinaire?”  Her smile
Is friendly though her face is gaunt;
   There is no guile,
No mere mechanic flash of teeth,
   No calculating leer of glance. . . . .
You wear your courage like a wreath,
   Daughter of France.
Back of old sorrow in tired eyes,
   Back of endurance through the night
That wearies you and makes you wise,
   I see a light
Unshaken, proud, that does not pale.
   And you are nobody, my dear:
“Une vraie gamine,” who does not quail,
   Who knows not fear.
Rattle your sabres, Lords of Hate,
   Ye shall not force them to their knees!
A street-girl scorns your God, your State—
   The least of these.

                                               Lee Wilson Dodd. 

The Outlook. [page 122]


 IN FRANCE’S FLOWERED FIELDS.

IN France’s flowered fields they lie,
   And she will hold them close and dear;
Above their graves her trees will sigh,
   Her grasses shroud them year by year.

On summer noons the sun will stream
   In cheerful warmth across their beds;
By night the moon’s slant, filmy beam
   Build aureoles about their heads.

The fitful winds will make them moan,
   A dirge be sung by every breeze;
And they shall lie apart, alone,
   Through all the coming centuries.

Dwelling in silences so vast
   No thought to that high tower may climb;
An austere beauty holds them fast
   Beyond the boundaries of time.

They were to us mere laughing boys,
   But in the passing of a breath
They turned from life’s scarce-tasted joys
   To this high majesty of death.

O France, when coming springs shall break
   In foam of bloom to hide thy scars,
And flower of human kindness make
   An end of agonies and wars,—

Forget not these, our sons, who came
   At that first wild, bewildered cry,
With their young British hearts aflame,
   Upon thy tragic hills to die. [page 123]

Still have them in thy guarding care,
   A holy and a cherished trust,
And let thy children come with prayer
   To dream awhile beside their dust.

To dream of tender love and ruth,
   And give a passing thought these
Who trod the star-lit ways of truth,
   Bondsmen of British loyalties.

And since upon thy heart lies now
   The richest ransom ever paid—
White roses torn from England’s brow
   Beside thy broken lilies laid—

Be thou our friend for ever evermore,
   In ties of common anguish bound,
That we may know the sons we bore
   Lie not in unregarded ground.

                                 Helena Coleman.

University Magazine.


 IN FRANCE. 1914.

“Is it well with Henri and Jean and Paul?”
   An old bent man to a mother said,
As they met at morn by a little stall
   Where the baker sold them their loaves of bread.

“Is it well with Henri and Jean and Paul?”
   And the mother bowed as beneath a rod;
Then she answered, “Aye, it is well with them all,
   Well with them all—they are all with God!”

                                                      Clinton Scollard.

From “The Vale of Shadows.” [page 124]


 TO WOMEN.

YOUR hearts are lifted up, your hearts
   That have foreknown the utter price.
Your hearts burn upward like a flame
   Of splendour and of sacrifice.

For you, you too, to battle go,
   Not with the marching drums and cheers,
But in the watch of solitude
   And through the boundless night of fears.

Swift, swifter than those hawks of war,
   Those threatening wings that pulse the air,
Far as the vanward ranks are set,
   You are gone before them, you are there!

And not a shot comes blind with death,
   And not a stab of steel is pressed
Home, but indivisibly it tore
   And entered first a woman’s breast.

Amid the thunder of the guns,
   The lightnings of the lance and sword,
Your hope, your dread, your throbbing pride,
   Your infinite passion is outpoured.

From hearts that are as one high heart,
   Withholding naught from doom and bale
Burningly offered up,—to bleed,
   To bear, to break, but not to fail!

                                        Lawrence Binyon.

Published by Elkin Matthews. [page 125] 


 LAUREL AND CYPRESS.

I WATCHED him swinging down the street,
   The fairest lad in all the line,
His kilt and khaki, braw and neat,
   My first-born—mine!

He sleeps beneath the blood-red sod—
   A letter from the King to say:
“Fallen in Honour’s Cause.” . . . Thank God!
   But ay!  But ay!

                                                J. Napier Milne.

The Bookman. 


 THE WOMAN’S TOLL.

 
O MOTHER, mourning for the son who keeps
   His last dread watch by unfamiliar streams,
Or for that other, gay of heart, who sleeps
   Where the great waters guard his secret dreams,
Amid your tears take comfort for space,
They showed them worthy of their island race.

O Wife, who heard across the wintry sea
   Death’s trumpet shrill for him who goes no more
Riding at dawn with that brave company
   Whose fellowship no morning shall restore,
In its dark heart your bitterest hour shall bring
Scents from the scattered petals of the spring. [page 126]

O Maid, with wondering eyes untouched of grief,
   War’s dreadful shadow spares your innocent years,
Yet shall you deem the ways of sunshine brief,
   Paying long hence your toll of hidden tears
For love that perished ere the web was spun,
And children that shall never see the sun.

                                                                 Ruth Duffin.

The Nation.


 SORROW.

OCHONE, it’s the sorrow that’s upon me!
   (Childer, quit yer playin’ at the door!)
The sun was shinin’, but I knew it wouldn’t last,
The signs were bad, an’ I saw it comin’ fast;
Did ye hear last night the wailin’ iv the blast?—
   An’ sorrow came down upon the wind.

Wirra, it’s the grief that’s come upon me!
   (Childer, quit yer talkin’ at the door!)
The farm dog barked, an’ the red cock crew,
An’ the fire went out when the cold wind blew;
I’ve heard bad news, an’ I know it’s true,
   For sorrow came down upon the wind.

Ochone, it’s the grief that’s come upon me!
   (Childer, quit yer shoutin’ at the door!)
Him that was young, an’ beautiful, an’ tall!
When he waved good-bye I niver thought he’d fall;
It’s meself doesn’t know what till do at all, at all.
   For sorrow’s come down upon the wind. [page 127]

Ochone, it’s the fear that’s come upon me!
   (Childer, quit yer laughin’ at the door!)
Himself worked hard for till gain our daily bread,
An’ now it’s the childer that be till go unfed,
For far on the battlefield he’s stretched out dead,
   An’ sorrow’s come down upon the wind.

Dear God, it’s the sorrow that’s upon me,
   (Childer, quit yer cryin’ at the door!)
There’s naught till do but to kneel and humbly pray
To Christ in Heaven to be our help this day,
An’ to care for the soul iv him that’s gone away—
   For sorrow’s come down upon the wind.

                                         E. Margaret Du P. Archer.

Westminster Gazette. 

 


 HOME AGAIN.

THEY give us sweets and picture-books and cigarettes and things,
And they speaks to us respectful-like as though we all was kings;
And they asks us silly questions, but they means well in their way,
So we tells them how we fought and fell on such and such a day.
And we talks a bit to please them when the ladies come to call;
But the things that we have done and seen they haven’t seen at all. [page 128]

There’s lots o’ people shouting “Britannia rules the waves,”
An’ its Britons this and Britons that and Britons won’t be slaves.
The music ‘alls are gay with flags and girls and noise and light,
We used to think that this was war—before we went to fight.
But now the folk who crowd about and seize us by the hand,
We just don’t answer what they says—they wouldn’t understand.

There’re things that don’t bear thinking of and things you never tell;
It’s waste of breath to talk to folk who haven’t been in hell.
And the blessed daily papers—why we’d like to take the lot
Right out of sale old England and let them see us shot.
There’s heaps to tell them if we could, but it doesn’t seem worth while,
So we hold our tongues and tempers, and when we can we smile.

They’re just like kiddies at their play, but we—we’ve felt and seen;
And between the likes of them and us there’re days and nights between.
Such days, such nights!—there ain’t no words, not human, to express—
But we often wish they’d think a bit and chatter rather less; [page 129]
But you want a bit o’ pluck for that and quite a lot o’ brain—
And since they haven’t got them, well—we simply can’t explain.

                                                                                              Margaret Sackville.

The Sphere.


 GRAY GAUNTLET.

GRAY Gauntlet, you of the wristlets wrought
   Of homespun soft and gray,
Do you hear the flashing needles click
   Three thousand miles away?
      Oh, it’s purl and plain,
         And a toss of the arm,
      For freeing the endless thread:
         And mystic whisp’rings with each stitch
      Too sacred to e’er be said.

Gray gauntlet, you of the sword must go,
   We of the spindle stay:
And our needles speed that our lads may march
   Mail-coated in woollen gray.
      Oh it’s slip and bind,
         And seam and count,
      And turn the heels with care:
         No craven fears in the meshes hide
      But only a murmured prayer.

                                              Elmina Atkinson.

The Bookman. [page 130]


 THE LAD OUT THERE.

OH, power of Love, if still you lean
   Above a world so black with hate,
Where yet—it has ever been—
   The loving heart is desolate,
Look down upon the lad I love
   (My brave lad, tramping through the mire),
   I cannot light his welcoming fire,
Light thou the stars for him above!
Now nights are dark and mornings dim,
   Let him in his long watching know
   That I, too, count the minutes slow,
And light the lamp of love for him.
The sight of death, the sleep forlorn,
   The old homesickness vast and dumb—
Amid these things so bravely borne,
   Let my long thoughts above him come,
I see him in the weary file;
   So young he is, so dear to me,
   With ever-ready sympathy
And wistful eyes and cheerful smile.
However far he travels on,
   Thought follows, like the willow-wren
   That flies the stormy seas again
To lands where her delight is gone.
Whatever he may be or do
   While absent far beyond my call,
Bring him, the long day’s march being through,
   Safe home to me some evenfall!

                                                               Mary Webb.

The Daily News. [page 131]


 SOLDIER, SOLDIER.

SOLDIER, soldier, off to the war,
   Take me a letter to my sweetheart O!
He’s gone away to France
With his carbine and his lance,
   And a lock of brown hair of his sweetheart O.

Fair maid of London, happy may you be,
   To know so much of your sweetheart O!
There’s not a handsome lad,
To get the chance he’s had,
   But would skip, with a kiss for a sweetheart O.

Soldier, soldier, whatever shall I do
   If the cruel Germans take my sweetheart O?
They’ll pen him in the jail
And starve him thin and pale,
   With never a kind word from his sweetheart O!

Fair maid of London, is that all you see
   Of the lad you’ve taken for your sweetheart O?
He’ll make his prison ring
With his “God save the King”
   And his “God bless the blue eyes of my sweetheart O!”

Soldier, soldier, if by shot or shell
   They would him, my dear lad, my sweetheart O!
He’ll lie bleeding in the rain
And call me, all in vain,
   Crying for the fingers of his sweetheart O! [page 132]

Pretty one, pretty one, now take a word from me:
   Don’t you grudge the life-blood of your sweetheart O!
For you must understand
He gives it to our land
   And proud should fly the colours of his sweetheart O!

Soldier, soldier, my heart is growing cold—
   If a German shot kill my sweetheart O!
I could not lift my head
If my dear love lay dead
   With his wide eyes waiting for his sweetheart O!

Poor child, poor child, go to church and pray,
   Pray God to spare you your sweetheart O!
But if he live or die
The English flag must fly
   And England take care of his sweetheart O!

                                                 Maurice Hewlett.

Daily Chronicle. 


 WOMEN TO MEN.

   GOD bless you, lads!
All women of the race,
   As forth you go,
Wish you with steadfast face
   The best they know. [page 133]

   God cheer you, lads!
Out in the bitter nights,
   Down the drear days,
Though the red reeking fights
   And wasted ways.

   God bring you, lads,
Back to the Motherland,
   True laurels gain,
Glory in either hand,
   Honour unstained.

Women of Britain’s race,
   As forth you go,
Wish you with proud glad face
   The best they know:
      God bless you, lads!

                         M. L. Haskins.

By special permission of Punch.


 COURTESAN.

THIS thing is theirs.
Those other women,
they have it for their own.
Theirs is the right to pride,
the right to grief.

Those other women, women of men’s houses,
where children may be—
I have made mock of them. [page 134]
And now this thing is theirs.

Theirs is the road and theirs is the field,
as always was the house.

For them the men go out upon the road.
And to each one of them
if her man fall,
belongs the field wherein he lies.

The burden of the war is theirs to bear,
and bearing it they have a right to sing
of love and death and glory,
honour and faith and sacrifice,
exultantly.

Is the house fallen?
Theirs was the right to fall with it.

The men go out to battle.

Those other women have the right
to laugh them off
and weep for them after.

And I, I have no right
to even look upon it.

                                       Helen Mackay.

From “London One November.”  Published by Andrew Melrose, Ltd. [page 135]


 HOW DOTH THE GERMAN PRESS BUREAU.

How doth the German Press Bureau
   Improve each shining tale,
Till Victory’s unceasing flow
   Seems very like a whale!

How thick its yarns—and yet how thin!
   How wide it spreads its views,
And takes the simple public in
   With gently garbled news.

                                         Horace Wyatt.

From “Malice in Kulturland.”


 VAS-Y, MON HOMME.

I.

“JE t’écris c’billet, mon bon Jean,
Pour te dir’que je suis ben fière
D’apprendr’qu’on t’a nommé sergent
Pour ta bel’conduite à la guerre;
Tout ça, du reste, n’métonn’pas,
Car de tous les homm’s du village
T’es non seul’ment le plus beau gâs
Mais, ‘cor c’ti-la qu’a l’plus d’courage.

“Vas-y, mon homme et cogn’dans l’tas!
Moi, je n’pleurnich’ni ne soupire:
Tu fais ton D’voir lorsque tu t’bats . . .
Moi je fais l’mien quand j’ai le sourire! [page 136]

II.

“Par chez nous, a c’t’heure, entre voisins
On ne fait plus qu’un’famille unique:
Ya plus d’poivrots, plus d’assassins,
On n’caus’plus jamais politique.
Nos blés sont coupés d’puis lundi,
Ben engerbés, ben mis en meule:
Avec notr’fieu qui s’dégondrit
J’pourrai . . . bientôt . . . les rentre seule;

“C’est un petit homme aux bras musclés:
Les pieds d’aplomb dans ses galoches
Il m’a dit, hier:  j’vas battre les blés
Pendant que l’pèr va battr’ les Boches!

III.

“Et puis, grand’nouvell ‘pour la fin,
Cherche voir!  devin’ devinette! . . .
Eh ben!  voilà:  depuis c’matin
T’es papa d’un ‘gross ‘pouponnette!
Ell’te ressemble; oh!  que c’est ben toi!
Elle a tes bons grands yeux que j’aime
Et comme elle est solid’, ma foi,
On t’espér’ra pour le baptême;

“Adieu, mon homm’!  Fais pour le mieux! . . .
J’finis ma lettr’; v’la nuit noire.
Tâch’de revenir victorieux
Pour que la p’tit’se nomme Victoire!”

                                                  Théodore Botrel,
                                “Chansonnier des Armées.”

From “Les Chants du Bivouac,” Librairie Payot et Cie, Paris, 106, Boulevard Saint Germain. [page 137]


 PIETA:  A HOMEAGE TO BELGIUM.

I.

YOU Men of Antwerp, who have lifted down
Once more from His high cross, the Crucified,
And from the hands and feet, and piercèd side
Wiped your own blood, above that anguished crown;
There by the belfry tower that glorigied
The upward gaze of Flanders and Brabant;—
Men of Namur, Liège, unconquered Ghent
And leafy, fair Ardennes;—
Is it with you again,
As with those far Judæan brother-men
Who saw their glory, and the living Word
Of all men’s longing slain, and sepulchred?—
His Body left alone,
Unto His own:
And their despair, wherewith to seal the stone.
And are your words the broken words they had
As once they walked together and were sad,
Along the smouldering, desolated ways?
“Now is it many days
Since all these things were done
Before the Sun.
And lo, the very God that gave us breath
Is scourged and put to death.”

Brothers, it is not true.
By all new born Compassion, now we know
The Lord is risen indeed; and walks with you.
Though your worn eyes are holden;—yes,
Through all the wilderness, [page 138]
Through the black desert there,
The waste of rankling embers, where They go,
As snowflakes on the air,
Unknowing whither, and unknowing whence.
The wingless Innocents,
The little children.  And, of all that mourn!
Mothers of trampled sons,
Perishing, outcast ones,
The Women, Women, broken, bruised and spent
Dragging a blinded flight to banishment,
Faint, with the weight of woe in men unborn!
Homeless—and guiltless; west, and west, and north,
Whither the lords of Famine drive them forth,
Along the awful footprints trodden red;—
But shepherded
Of Him who had not where to lay His head.

Heroes, He walks with these—
The Refugees.
Heroes, He walks with you,
Your widening realm made new,
Your kingdom vaster now than ever then;
Your world-wide empire in the souls of men.

II.

And you, New World?—
Now that the lightning blast
Of tangled hates has left your heart aghast,
What is your answering deed
To men in need?
The Eyes, that once their startled eyes could see
Through the blue morning mist of Galilee, [page 139]
Are on you now, with their one “Lov’st thou Me?”
And with the cry of light that follows death,
“Thou knowest that we love Thee!” sobs all breath.
And, “Feed my lambs,” He saith.
Ah, by that word to keep,
By all the sharpness of their more-than-death,
“With nothing left them but their eyes to weep.”—
Shall we not feed His sheep?

III.

Now, with the cold, draws near the Holy Time
When there shall sound no chime
From towers that look alone
On glories overthrown.
There shall no tongue of bell
Proclaim Emmanuel!
To mock with homage thus
Our tortured God-with-us.

Far on the Syrian plains, the shepherds there
May pipe to moonlit air
While tidings of the Hope of all men’s dream,
Men yet blaspheme.
O New World, do not mock
The desolation of this perishing flock
With chime or festival,
While shames and sorrows call
Above the wind, the scourging, bitter wind
For these that never sinned;
Save that they held the unconquerable gate
Of human Hope, against the hordes of Hate.
Look on that Mother-Country, face to face— [page 140]

Stricken that men might Live.
And to that ruined manger-place,
Gather, and gather;—GIVE!—
O fair-of-fortune—hope and humbleness,
Gather and garner—bless
Your lowly offerings
Of precious things.
Open your treasures forth for her;
Your gold, your frankincense, and myrrh.

                                     Josephine Preston Peabody. 


 THE WIFE OF FLANDERS.

LOW and brown barns, thatched and re-patched and tattered,
   Where I had seven sons until to-day,
A little hill of hay your spur has scattered. . . .
   This is not Paris.  You have lost your way.

You, staring at your sword to find it brittle,
   Surprised at the surprise that was your plan,
Who, shaking and breaking barriers not a little,
   Find never more the death-door of Sedan—

Must I for more than carnage call you claimant,
   Paying you a penny for each son you slay?
Man, the whole globe in gold were no repayment
   For what you have lost.  And how shall I repay? [page 141]

What is the price of that red spark that caught me
   From a kind farm that never had a name?
What is the price of that dead man they bought me?
   For other dead men do not look the same.

How should I pay for one poor graven steeple
   Whereon you shattered what you shall not know?
How should I pay you everything you owe?

Unhappy, can I give you back your honour?
   Though I forgave, would any man forget?
While all the great green land has trampled on her
   The treason and terror of the night we met.

Not any more in vengeance or in pardon
   An old wife bargains for a bean that’s hers.
You have no word to break, no heart to harden.
   Ride on and prosper.  You have lost your spurs.

                                                       G. K. Chesterton.

By permission of Messrs. Burns and Oates, Ltd., London.


 THE DEAD TO THE LIVING.

O YOU that still have rain and sun,
   Kisses of children and of wife,
And the good earth to tread upon,
   And the mere sweetness that is life,
Forget not us, who gave all these
For something dearer, and for you!
Think in what cause we crossed the seas!
Remember, he who fails the challenge
Fails us, too. [page 142]

Now in the hour that shows the strong—
   The soul no evil powers affray—
Drive straight against embattled Wrong:
   Faith knows but one, the hardest, way.
Endure; the end is worth the throe.
Give, give; and dare, and again dare!
On, to that Wrong’s great overthrow!
We are with you, of you:  we the pain and
Victory share.

                                       Laurence Binyon.

The Times.


 A PRAYER OF THE PEOPLES.*

GOD of us, who kill our kind!
Master of this blood-tracked mind,
Which from wolf and Caliban
Staggers towards the star of Man—
Now, on Thy cathedral stair,
God, we cry to Thee in prayer!

Where our stifled anguish bleeds,
Strangling through Thine organ reeds,
Where our voiceless songs suspire
From the corpses in Thy choir—
Through Thy charred and shattered nave,
God, we cry on Thee to save!

*From “The Present Hour,” published by The Macmillan Co. of New York, by whose courtesy it is here reprinted. [page 143]


Save us from our tribal gods!
From the racial powers, whose rods—
Wreathed with stinging serpents—stir
Odin and old Jupiter
From their ancient hells of hate
To invade Thy dawning state.

Save us from their curse of kings!
Free our souls’ imaginings
From the feudal dreams of war;
Yea, God, let us nevermore
Make, with slaves’ idolatry,
Kaiser, czar, or king of Thee!

We who, craven in our prayer,
Would lay off on Thee our care—
Lay instead on us Thy load;
On our minds Thy spirit’s goad,
On our laggard wills Thy whips
And Thy passion on our lips!

Fill us with the reasoned faith
That the prophet lies who saith
All this web of destiny,
Torn and tangled, cannot be
Newly wove and redesigned
By the Godward human mind.

Teach us, so, no more to call
Guidance supernatural
To our help, but—heart and will— [page 144]
Know ourselves responsible
For our world of wasted good
And our blinded brotherhood.

Lord, our God!  to whom, from clay,
Blood and mire, Thy peoples pray—
Not from Thy cathedral’s stair
Thou hearest:—Thou criest through our prayer;
For our prayer is but the gate:
We, who pray, ourselves are fate.

                                                  Percy Mackaye.


 BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND MORNING.

YE that have faith to look with fearless eyes
   Beyond the tragedy of a world at strife,
And know that out of death and night shall rise
   The dawn of ampler life;
Rejoice, whatever anguish rend your heart,
   That God has given to you the priceless dower
To live in these great times, and bear your part
   In Freedom’s crowning hour;
That ye may tell your sons who see the light
   High in the heavens—their heritage to take—
“I saw the powers of darkness put to flight;
   I saw the morning break.”

                                              Sir Owen Seaman. [page 145]


 FLOWERING THORN.

COLD the winter ocean beats
   Against the English shore;
I remember well a May
   When England hawthorn wore,—
Hawthorn white and hawthorn red,
Pale, sweet lilacs on her head
Wrethèd in a coronal;
Oleanders by the wall,
Old, gray garden walls where climb
Dark-leaved ivies, rich with time.

Now the leaden winter rain
Falls on England in her pain;
Falls on Lancashire, where grew
Violets in woods we knew,—
Falls on paths he trod with me,
In that May-time, lingeringly.

Now the winds of winter cry
O’er the lakes that frozen lie,
Gray and sombre, mirroring
No bright sapphire skies of spring.
Far in Flanders wild winds sweep
O’er my love’s entrenchèd sleep.
Blotting out his war-world grim,
Do these scenes come back to him?

Ah, does he recall in dreams
   One early, thrush-thrilled morn,
May-sweet with English primrose,
   And white with flow’ring thorn?

                     Agnes Kendrick Gray.

Boston Transcript. [page 146]


 AMERICA TO FRANCE AND GREAT BRITAIN

FRANCE!  Britain!  to your stalwart sons
   We owe our hearthstones undefiled,
Our living cities:—to your guns
   The laughter of each little child.

France!  Britain!  in the deadly pall
   That hangs athwart your eastern skies,
We see the measure of our call,
   The need of holy sacrifice.

France!  Britain!  in your debt we stand
   As never nation stood before,—
Henceforth the honour of our land
   Speaks only where our cannons roar.

In gilded word and burnished phrase
   There is no balm for blood that flows
From those who through infernal days
   Fight liberty’s eternal foes.

Before the judgment seat of God
   Ten thousand hopes will not outweigh
One single square of bloody sod
   Held from the Hun in red affray.

Late to the battlefield we come
   Unready, tortured with the shame
Of seeing brothers grim and dumb
   Dying,—where we should feel the flame.

France!  Britain!  when the stars look down
   Upon the last great battle place, [page 147]
Pray God we may have won our crown,—
   The right to meet you face to face!

                        Harold Trowbridge Pulsifer.
         (Master Signal Electrician, U.S.N.A.)

The Outlook.


 THE NAME OF FRANCE.

 
GIVE us a name to fill the mind
With the shining thoughts that lead mankind—
The glory of learning, the joy of art—
A name that tells of a splendid part
In the long, long toil and the strenuous fight
Of the human race to win its way
From the ancient darkness into the day
Of freedom, brotherhood, equal right—
A name like a star, a name of light:
          I give you, France!

Give us a name to stir the blood
With a warmer glow and a swifter flood
At the touch of a courage that conquers fear—
A name like the call of a trumpet, clear
And silver-sweet and iron-strong,
That brings three million men to their feet,
Ready to march and steady to meet
The foe who threatens that name with wrong—
A name that rings like a battle-song:
          I give you, France!

Give us a name to move the heart
With the strength that noble griefs impart—
A name that speaks of the blood out-poured
To save mankind from the sway of the sword— [page 148]
A name that calls the world to share
The burden of sacrificial strife
Where the cause at stake is the world’s free life
And the rule of the people everywhere—
A name like a vow, a name like a prayer:
          I give you, France!

                                                    Henry Van Dyke.

From “The Red Flower”; copyright, 1916, 1917, by Charles Scribner’s Sons.


 SAINTE JEANNE OF FRANCE.

1915.

SAINTE JEANNE went harvesting in France,
   But ah!  what found she there?
The little streams were running red,
   And the torn fields were bare;
And all about the ruined towers
   Where once her king was crowned,
The hurtling ploughs of war and death
   Had scored the desolate ground.

Sainte Jeanne turned to the hearts of men,
   That harvest might not fail;
Her sword was girt upon her thigh,
   Her dress was silvern mail;
And all the war-worn ranks were glad
   To feel her presence shine;
Her smile was like the mellow sun
   Along that weary line.

She gave her silence to their lips,
   Her visions to their eyes, [page 149]
And the quick glory of her sword
   She lent to their emprise;
The shadow of her gentle hand
   Touched Belgium’s burning cross,
And set the seal of power and praise
   On agony and loss.

Sainte Jeanne went harvesting in France,
   And oh!  what found she there?
The brave seed of her scattering
   In fruitage everywhere;
And where her strong and tender heart
   Was broken in the flame,
She found the very heart of France
   Had flowered to her name.

                         Marion Couthouy Smith.

The Nation (New York).


 TO GREAT BRITAIN.

BRITAIN!  you with a heart of flame
   One as in days gone by,
You who honour your Nelson’s name
How could you hear the word of shame
   Nor rise and give it the lie!

Better endure war’s worst of ills
   The woes of a hundred fights,
Than cower behind your banks and tills
And smug with your money, your mines, your mills,
   Forswear a neighbour’s rights.

For how could you hope for a wide world’s trust
   If, traitor by land and sea, [page 150]
You had let French lilies lie in the dust
Nor challenged for peace the War-Lord’s lust
   And struck for a Europe free.

Fight and in hope, for battle is banned,
   The world shall yet rejoice,
For the peoples rise in wrath, to demand
Henceforth no war shall trouble the land
   Except at a people’s voice.

                                        H. D. Rawnsley.

From “European War Poems.”  Originally appeared in The English Review.


 BY ORDER OF THE PEOPLE.

FOR what, in the sight of Heaven, do the young soldiers die—
The flower of France and England—think you they know not why?
On the stormy floods of battle like straws their lives are tost,
That the rule of the just free peoples be not forever lost.

And we, who have wrought our freedom, see we no sign, no light?
Shall the reek of carnage blind us to the white star of right?
Where are the souls of our fathers, full-statured men, who saw
That Christ, who died for the people, had left to the world a Law? [page 151]

This is the law to bind us, when sense and self go wild,—
That the sword be strong for mercy, that the shield be over the child,
That the great eternal standards ride high above the strife,
And the soul of a mighty people be dearer than blood or life.

                                                     Marion Couthouy Smith.

Outlook (New York).


 RESOLVE.

IT cannot be that, having seen the day,
   We should endure the tyranny of the night;
   For if we have not sinned against the light,
Nor made an idol of the sword, as they,
The powers of darkness set in proud array
   Shall not o’ermaster us.  The sword shall smite
   The abusers of the sword, and all their might
Shall wither, and their glory pass away.

No more shall lawless force be throned as God,
   The troubled nations of the earth no more
Shall humbly wait upon a despot’s nod,
And when the sacred cause for which they bled
   Is surely ‘stablished, we will turn and pour
Libations to the uncomplaining dead.

                                                     F. E. Maitland.

The Times. [page 152]


 IS WAR THE ONLY GOOD THING THAT HAS NO GOOD IN IT?

THEY say that “War is hell,” the “great accursed,”
   The sin impossible to be forgiven;
Yet I can look upon it at its worst,
   And still find blue in Heaven.

And as I note how nobly natures form
   Under the war’s red rain, I deem it true
That He who made the earthquake and the storm
   Perchance makes battles too!

The life He loves is not the life of span,
   Abbreviated by each passing breath,
It is the true humanity of Man,
   Victorious over death.

The long expectance of the upward gaze,
   Sense ineradicable of things afar,
Fair hope of finding after many days
   The bright and morning star.

Methinks I see how spirits may be tried,
   Transfigured into beauty on war’s verge,
Like flowers, whose tremulous grace is learnt beside
   The trampling of the surge.

And now, not only Englishmen at need
   Have won a fiery and unequal fray,
No infantry has ever done such deed
   Since Albuera’s day! [page 153]

Those who live on amid our homes to dwell,
   Have grasped the higher lessons that endure,
The gallant Private learns to practise well
   His heroism obscure.

His heart beats high as one for whom is made
   A mighty music solemnly, what time
The oratorio of the cannonade
   Rolls through the hills sublime.

Yet his the dangerous posts that few can mark,
   The crimson death, the dread unerring aim,
The fatal ball that whizzes through the dark,
   The just—recorded name—

The faithful following of the flag all day,
   The duty that brings no nation’s thanks,
The Ama Nesciri* of some grim and grey
   A Kempis of the ranks.

These are the things our commonweal to guard,
   The patient strength that is too proud to press,
The duty done for duty, not reward,
   The lofty littleness.

And they of greater state who never turned,
   Taking their path of duty high and higher,
What do we deem that they, too, may have learned
   For that baptismal fire?

*The heading of a remarkable chapter in the “De Imitatione Christi.” [page 154]


Not that the only end beneath the sun
   Is to make every sea a trading lake,
And all our splendid English history one
   Voluminous mistake.

They who marched up the bluffs last stormy week,
   Some of them, ere they reached the mountain’s crown,
The wind of battle breathing on their cheek,
   Suddenly laid them down.

Like sleepers—not like those whose race is run—
   Fast, fast asleep amid the cannon’s roar,
Them no reveille and no morning gun
   Shall ever waken more.

And the boy beauty passed from off the face
   Of those who lives, and into it instead
Came proud forgetfulness of ball and race,
   Sweet commune with the dead.

And thoughts beyond their thoughts the spirit lent,
   And manly tears made mist upon their eyes,
And to them came a great presentiment
   Of high-scale sacrifice.

Thus, as the heaven’s many-coloured flames
   At sunset are but dust in rich disguise,
The ascending earthquake dust of battle frames
   God’s picture in the skies.

                                                    William Alexander.
                                       Late Primate of all Ireland.

Written during the Boer war. [page 155]


 A THANKSGIVING.

NOT for our harvest,
   Our fields’ increase,
Not for our safety,
   Our vaunted peace,
Our word-clad justice,
   Our light-flung gift,
But for hearts that waken,
   For dreams that lift—
      We praise Thee, O God!

For Belgium’s sword
   That faltered never,
For the splendid woe
   Of her lost endeavour;
For the great free peoples
   In grim advance,
For the might of England,
   The light of France—
      We praise Thee, O God!

For Italy’s flower
   Of fearless youth;
For Russia’s waking
   From dream to truth;
For the flame of Serbia
   That mounts in death,
The fire that fails not
   With blood and breath—
      We praise Thee, O God! [page 156]

For dull ease broken
   By sharpest dole,
For the dart that is driven
   Through flesh to soul;
For wrath made sterner
   By right’s eclipse,
For brave songs breaking
   From pain-wrung lips—
      We praise Thee, O God!

For faith that is born
   From the burning nest,
For the spirit’s flight
   On its starward quest,
For peace that dwells
   At the heart of strife,
For death that scatters
   The seed of life—
      We praise Thee, O God!

         Marion Couthouy Smith.

New York Times. [page 157]


 THE HARVESTING.

THIS did we know;
   That there was life, and an endless loveliness
      Scattered the length and breadth of a living world;
   All that there lay before and around was holiness
      Colouring all, could we look on the canvas unfurled:
This in truth did we know.

Thus did we sow;
   Awhile of the life which gave of a boundless store
     We chose what seemed were the easiest creeds to hold;
   We looked for the cheapest things of life to adore
      And then?  Could we blame the world that our hearts were cold?
Thus as fools did we sow.

Now we have reaped;
   Like souls in torment, learning of good from others,
      We with our vision cleared in the purge of strife,
   Have been taught in our pains the only truths from our brothers;
      Now we have learned, and compassed the meaning of Life,
Now when in pain we have reaped.

                                                          W. Fothergill Robinson.

By permission of The Poetry Review, London. [page 158]


 INDIA TO ENGLAND.

IS there aught you need that my hands withhold,
Rich gifts of raiment or grain or gold?
Lo!  I have flung to the East and West
Priceless treasures torn from my breast,
And yielded the sons of my stricken womb
To the drum-beats of duty, the sabres of doom.

Gathered like pearls in their alien graves,
Silent they sleep by the Persian waves;
Scattered like shells on Egyptian sands,
They lie with pale brows and brave, broken hands;
They are strewn like blossoms mown down by chance,
On the blood-brown meadows of Flanders and France.

Can ye measure the grief of the tears I weep,
Or compass the woe of the watch I keep?
Or the pride that thrills through my heart’s despair,
And the hope that comforts the anguish of prayer?
And the far, sad glorious vision I see
Of the torn red banners of Victory?

When the terror and tumult of hate shall cease
And life be refashioned on anvils of peace,
And your love shall offer memorial thanks
To the comrades who fought in your dauntless ranks,
And you honour the deeds of the deathless ones,
Remember the blood of my martyred sons!

                                                           Sarogini Naidu.

The Times. [page 159] 


 THE HEART OF CANANDA.

July, 1912.

BECAUSE her heart is all too proud—
   Canada!  Canada!  fair young Canada—
To breathe the might of her love aloud,
   Be quick, O Motherland!
Because her soul is wholly free,
   Canada kneels—thy daughter, Canada—
England, look in her eyes and see,
   Honour and understand.

Because her pride at thy masthead shrines,
   Canada!  Canada!—queenly Canada—
Bows with all her breathing pines,
   All her fragrant firs.
Because our isle is little and old,
   Canada!  Canada!—young-eyed Canada—
Gives thee, Mother, her hands to hold,
   And makes thy glory hers.

Because thy Fleet is hers for aye,
   Canada!  Canada!—clear-souled Canada—
Ere the war-cloud roll this way,
   Bids the world beware.
Her heart, her soul, her sword are thine,
   Thine the guns—the guns of Canada!—
The ships are foaming into line,
   And Canada will be there.

                                                Alfred Noyes.

By special permission of Frederick A. Stokes Co. [page 160]


 WHO SLEEPS?

MIDNIGHT and England; in the curtained room
   Shadow upon grey shadow creeps,
Till black, all-conquering, dominates the gloom,
   And darkness cries—who sleeps?

Who sleeps—the bride?  She girt him for the fight,
   Gay when her happy warrior went,
Now empty arms she stretches to the night
   With passionate lament.

Who sleeps—the old man?  Up the wind-swept street
   He heard a brown battalion come,
And all night long his weary worn old feet
   Keep measure with the drum.

Who sleeps—the mother?  Immemorial throes
   Torture her heart and laboured breath;
This hour, it may be, her belovèd goes
   Undaunted into death.

Who sleeps—the barren woman, for her breast
   Passion, nor pain, nor rapture stirs?
She wakes and watches for the first and best,
   A thousand sons are hers.

On desolated far-off battle fields, who sleep?
   We know not, but through summers green
We know their rigid hands that hold, will keep
   The flag of England clean. [page 161]

Who sleeps?  Faint and forsworn, no sentinel
   Between the trenches’ snarling lips;
Not one on guard where moonlight waters swell
   Under the battleships.

They sleep not for whom furnace smoke-clouds roll,
   Nor they who forge for England’s care,
Armour laid on the anvil of her soul
   And hammered out with prayer.

Who sleeps—your God on His eternal hill,
   And Zion falls, and Rachel weeps?
Captain of hosts and our salvation still,
   He slumbers not nor sleeps.

                                                       Eleanor Alexander.

The Times.


 EPILOGUE.

INTERCESSION.

NOW the muttering gun-fire dies,
   Now the night has cloaked the slain,
Now the stars patrol the skies,
   Hear our sleepless prayer again!
They who work their country’s will,
Fight and die for Britain still,
Soldiers, but not haters, know
Thou must pity friend and foe.
          Therefore hear,
Both for foe and friend, our prayer. [page 162]

Thou whose wounded hands do reach
   Over every land and sea
Thoughts too deep for human speech
   Rise from all our souls to Thee;
Deeper than the wrath that burns
Round our hosts when day returns;
Deeper than the peace that fills
All these trenched and waiting hills.
          Hear, O hear!
Both for foe and friend, our prayer.

Pity deeper than the grave
   Sees, beyond the death we wield,
Faces of the young and brave
   Hurled against us in the field.
Cannon-folder!  They must come,
We must slay them, and be dumb,
Slaughter, while we pity, these
Most implacable enemies.
          Master, hear,
Both for foe and friend, our prayer.

They are blind, as we are blind,
   Urged by duties past reply.
Ours is but the task assigned;
   Theirs to strike us ere they die.
Who can see his country fall?
Who but answers at her call?
Who has power to pause and think
When she reels upon the brink?
          Hear, O hear,
Both for foe and friend, our prayer. [page 163]

Shield them from that bitterest lie,
   Laughed by fools who quote their mirth,
When the wings of death go by,
   And their brother shrieks on earth.
Though they clamp their hearts with steel,
Conquering every fear they feel,
There are dreams they dare not tell.
Shield, O!  shield their eyes from hell.
          Father, hear,
Both for foe and friend, our prayer.

Where the naked bodies burn,
   Where the wounded toss at home,
Weep and bleed and laugh in turn,
   Yes, the masking jest may come.
Let him jest who daily dies,
But O!  hide his haunted eyes.
Pain alone he might control.
Shield, O!  shield, his wounded soul.
          Master, hear,
Both for foe and friend, our prayer.

Peace?  We steel us to the end.
   Hope betrayed us, long ago.
Duty binds both foe and friend.
   It is ours to break the foe.
Then, O God!  that we might break
This red Moloch for Thy sake;
Know that Truth indeed prevails,
And that Justice holds the scales.
          Father, hear,
Both for foe and friend, our prayer. [page 164]

England, could this awful hour,
   Dawning on thy long renown,
Mark the purpose of thy power,
   Crown thee with that mightier crown!
Broadening to that purpose climb
All the blood-red wars of Time . . .
Set the struggling peoples free,
Crown with Law their Liberty!
          England, hear,
Both for foe and friend, our prayer.

Speed, O!  speed, what every age
   Writes with a prophetic hand.
Read the midnight’s moving page,
   Read the stars and understand:
Out of Chaos ye shall draw
Deepening harmonies of Law
Till around the Eternal Sun
All your peoples move in one.
          Christ-God, hear,
Both for foe and friend, our prayer.

                                    Alfred Noyes.

From “A Belgian Christmas Eve.”  By special permission of Frederick A. Stokes Co. [page 165] 


 ONWARD.

O CANADA, the blood of all thy sons
Cries out, to-day, from fair and glorious deeds;
And spirit legions of Immortal Ones,
Who died to serve their country and its needs—
Pledge thee, anew, by their white Honour Roll,
To loftier issues, born of sacrifice;
Bidding thee keep, unstained, that nobler soul,
Which they have ransomed with so great a price.

                                            A. Beatrice Hickson.


 INTO BATTLE.

THE naked earth is warm with Spring,
   And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s gaze glorying,
   And quivers in the sunny breeze;
And Life is Colour and Warmth and Light,
   And a striving evermore for these;
And he is dead who will not fight;
   And who dies fighting has increase.

The fighting man shall from the sun
   Take warmth, and life from the glowing earth;
Speed with the light-foot winds to run,
   And with the trees to newer birth;
And find, when fighting shall be done,
   Great rest, and fullness after dearth. [page 166]

All the bright company of Heaven
   Hold him in their high comradeship,
The Dog-Star, and the sisters Seven,
   Orion’s Belt and sworded hip.

The woodland trees that stand together,
   They stand to him each one a friend;
They gently speak in the windy weather;
   They guide to valley and ridges’ end.

The kestrel hovering by day,
   And the little owls that call by night,
Bid him be swift and keen as they,
   As keen of ear, as swift of sight.

The blackbird sings to him, “Brother, brother,
   If this be the last song you shall sing,
Sing well, for you may not sing another;
   Brother, sing.”

In dreary, doubtful, waiting hours,
   Before the brazen frenzy starts,
The horses show him nobler powers;
   O patient eyes, courageous hearts!

And when the burning moments breaks
   And all things else are out of mind,
And only Joy of Battle takes
   Him by the throat, and makes him blind. [page 167]

Through joy and blindness he shall know,
   Not caring much to know, that still
Nor lead nor steel shall reach him, so
   That it be not the Destined Will.

The thundering line of battle stands,
   And in the air Death moans and sings;
But they shall clasp him with strong hands,
   And Night shall fold him in soft wings.

                                Julian Grenfell, D. S. O.
                     Died of wounds, May 26, 1916.

Flanders, April, 1915.


 FOR ALL WE HAVE AND ARE.

FOR all we have and are,
   For all our children’s fate,
Stand up and meet the war,
   The Hun is at the gate!
Our world has passed away
   In wantonness o’erthrown.
There is nothing left to-day
   But steel, and fire, and stone.

Though all we knew depart,
   The old commandments stand:
“In courage keep your heart,
   In strength lift up your hand.” [page 168]

Once more we hear the word
   That sickened earth of old:
“No law except the sword
   Unsheathed and uncontrolled.”
Once more it knits mankind,
   Once more the nations go
To meet, and break, and bind
   A crazed and driven foe.

Comfort, content, delight,
   The ages’ slow-bought gain
They shrivelled in a night,
   Only ourselves remain
To face the naked days
   In silent fortitude,
Through perils and dismays
   Renewed and re-renewed.

Though all we made depart
   The old commandments stand:
“In patience keep your heart,
   In strength lift up your hand.”

No easy hopes or lies
   Shall bring us to our goal,
But iron sacrifice
   Of body, will and soul.
There’s but one task for all,
   For each one life to give.
Who stands if freedom fall?
   Who dies if England live?

                       Rudyard Kipling.

The Times. [page 169]

]


 A NATIVITY.

The Babe was laid in the Manger
   Between the gentle kine,
All safe from cold and danger—
   “But it was not so with mine.
         (With mine!  With mine.)
Is it well with the child, is it well?”
   The waiting mother prayed,
“For I know not where he fell,
   And I know not where he is laid.”

A Star stood forth in Heaven:
   The watchers ran to see
The Sign of the Promise given—
   “But there comes no sign to me,
         (To me!  To me!)
My child died in the dark,
   And I know not where he fell,
There was none to tend him or mark . . .
   Is it well with the child, is it well?”

The Cross was raised on high,
   The Mother grieved beside—
“But the Mother saw Him die,
   And took Him when He died,
         (He died!  He died!)
Seemly and undefiled
   His burial-place was made . . .
Is it well, is it well with the child?
   For I know not where he is laid.” [page 170]

On the dawning of Easter Day
   Comes Mary Magdalene,
But the stone was rolled away
   And the Body was not within.
         (Within!  Within!)
“Ah!  Who will answer my word?”
   The weeping mother prayed.
“They have taken away my Lord,
   And I know not where He is laid.”

          .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

The Star stands forth in Heaven,
   The watchers watch in vain
For sign of the Promise given
   Of peace on Earth again.
         (Again!  Again!)
“But I know for Whom he fell,”
   The steadfast mother smiled.
“Is it well with the child, is it well?—
   It is well—it is well with the child!”

                                  Rudyard Kipling.


 A SOLDIER’S PORTRAIT.

(To F.)

ONE who has met with fear, and conquered it; with pain,
   And gladly suffered it:  who’s faced out every chance:
Who enters battle cool and strong, with a clear brain,
   Having tasted in advance [page 171]

His own death and his friend’s death.  One who loves life well;
   To whom the thought of home—there mere familiar thought—
Is martial music ‘mid the blinding shot and shell
   Of the fiercest battle fought.

A soldier, with a soldier’s loyal faith; who sees
   God still the same when the swords of the world are bared;
And waits with firm assurance for His dark decrees,
   Resolute, serene, prepared.

                                                                        George Rostrevor.

From “Stars and Fishes.”  Published by John Lane.


 I HAVE A RENDEZVOUS WITH DEATH.

I HAVE a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple blossoms fill the air.
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land,
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still. [page 172]
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes ‘round again this year,
And the first meadow flowers appear.

God knows ‘twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear. . . .
But I’ve a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

                                              Alan Seeger.
Died after being terribly wounded, April 4 or 5, 1916.

From “Poems,” by Alan Seeger.  Published by Charles Scribners’ Sons.


 MARCHING WITH PAPA JOFFRE.

A Song to Fifes and Drums.

MARCHING!—What are they marching, there, for?
Rin-rin!—Ran!—Pata, pata, plan!
Papa Joffre he’s coming from the war:
Vive la—Vive la France! [page 173]

Blue jacket and red breeches and mustachios gleaming white,
With a Tommy on his left hand and a Johnny on his right,
He has come to give America his Godspeed for the fight:
Vive l’Amerique!  Vive la France!
      Vive la—Vive la France!

Fighting!  What are they fighting, there, for?
Eho!—Eho!—Pata, pata, plan!
To make men free men, now and evermore:
Vive la—Vive la France!

The Kaiser and his kaiserlings they guessed that they would go
And ring the Paris Christmas bells, a-laying churches low;
But Papa Joffre beside the Marne stood up and said:  No, no!
   A bas les Boches!  Vive la France!
Vive la—Vive la France!

Cheering!—What are they cheering, there, for?
Hurrah!—Hurrah!—Hip, hip, hip, Hurrah!
Red, white, blue flags—flaming for the war:
Vive la—Vive la France! [page 174]

Jack Poilu he’s a true lad, as Papa Joffre has tried;
John Bull he is another, and he marches Jack beside;
And Yankee Doodle joins with them—three brothers,
         God for guide:
Vive l’Amerique!  l’Angleterre!  la France!
Vive la—Vive la France!

Praying!—What are they praying, there, for?
Dieu!  Seigneur!  A ton Esprit la gloire!
The Peace of Justice reign forevermore!
Vive l’Esprit de la France!

We are marching in alliance that our faith may be restored;
We are fighting, we are cheering, for a nobler world-accord;
We are praying, through the tempest, unto Liberty, our Lord:
Vive l’Alliance!  Vive la France!
      Vive la victoire della France!

                                                                       Percy Mackaye.

Boston Transcript. [page 175]


 VIVE LA FRANCE!

“France is dying.”—Hindenburg.

IF France is dying, she dies as day
   In the splendour of noon, sun-aureoled,
If France is dying, then youth is grey,
   And steel is soft and flame is cold.
France cannot die!  France cannot die!

If France is dying, she dies as love
   When a mother dreams of her child-to-be.
If France is dying, then God above
   Died with His Son upon the Tree.
France cannot die!  France cannot die!

If France is dying, then manhood dies,
   Freedom and justice, all golden things.
If France is dying, then life were wise
   To borrow of death such immortal wings.
France cannot die!  France cannot die!

                             Richard Butler Glaezener.

New York Times.


 IN MEMORY.

LIEUTENANT ALFRED J. L. EVANS.

(Died December 7th, 1915, of wounds received in action.)

SAD hearts and weeping eyes,
   The bruisèd mind, the aching memory,
Our portion these; for him the glad surprise
   The Master’s face to see. [page 176]

The broken hopes we sigh,
   The young life ended that had scarce begun!
But he, in joyful wonder, hears the cry,
   “Servant and friend, well done!”

Loving and loved, brave and true!
   Too brief his span; yet in Eternity
Surely the Master still has work to do
   For such pure souls as he.

Pray we, his life above
   (Though his dear body rest beneath the sod),
Bind us with one more golden chain of love
   Closer to Heaven and God.

                                             Edward J. Bidwell,
                                             Bishop of Ontario.


 THE SILENT TOAST.

THEY stand with reverent faces,
   And their merriment give o’er,
As they drink the toast to the unseen host,
   Who have fought and gone before.

It is only a passing moment
   In the midst of the feast and song,
But it grips the breath, as the wing of death
   In a vision sweeps along.

No more they see the banquet
   And the brilliant lights around;
But they charge again on the hideous plain
   When the shell-bursts rip the ground. [page 177]

Or they creep at night, like panthers,
   Through the waste of No Man’s Land,
Their hearts afire with a wild desire
   And death on every hand.

And out of the roar and tumult,
   Or the black night loud with rain,
Some faces comes back on the fiery track
   And looks in their eyes again.

And the love that is passing woman’s,
   And the bonds that are forged by death,
Now grip the soul with a strange control
   And speak what no man saith.

The vision dies off in the stillness,
   Once more the tables shine,
But the eyes of all in the banquet hall
   Are lit with a light divine.

                             Frederick George Scott.

Vimy Ridge, April, 1917.


 YULETIDE IN FRANCE.

O LITTLE sprig of rosemary, I pluck you in the garden,
In this little Gallic garden, on this misty winter’s day.
          I can hear the old rooks calling,
          And the distant shells are falling,
But this little sprig of rosemary has borne my heart away. [page 178]

O little sprig of rosemary, you bear me through the ages
To the olden golden Yuletides that our fathers knew of yore,
          When the midnight Mass bell ringing,
          Set the carol singers singing,
And sweet rosemary was scattered on the shining chancel floor.

O little sprig of rosemary, I hear the song and laughter
When the boar’s head was carried in, adown the armoured hall,
          And the rosemary and bay
          Were as sweet as new-mown hay,
While the merriment of Yuletide was uniting great and small.

O little sprig of rosemary, I pluck you in the garden,
And my heart is sore and heavy with the cares we have to-day,
          For the Christ has been among us,
          And the Angel Hosts have sung us
All the happy songs of Heaven, but they sounded far away.

O little sprig of rosemary, as I pluck you in the garden,
In this little Gallic garden where the brave are laid to rest,
          An English mother weeping,
          A sad, sad Yule is keeping,
Remembering one who once was the Christ-Child on her breast. [page 179]

O little sprig of rosemary, I thank you for the dreaming,
In this hallowed Gallic garden, on this misty winter’s day;
          Your mission is to leaven
          This poor earth with thoughts of heaven,
When, for those brave hearts that slumber here, we fold our hands and pray.

                               Frederick George Scott.

From “In the Battle Silences.”


 ALL THE HILLS AND VALES ALONG.

ALL the hills and vales along
Earth is bursting into song,
And the singers are the chaps
Who are going to die, perhaps.
   O sing, marching men,
   Till the valleys ring again.
   Give your gladness to earth’s keeping,
   So be glad, when you are sleeping.

Cast away regret and rue,
Think what you are marching to.
Little live, great pass.
Jesus Christ and Barabbas
Were found the same day.
This died, that went his way.
   So sing with joyful breath;
   For why, you are going to death.
   Teeming earth will surely store
   All the gladness that you pour. [page 180]

Earth that never doubts or fears,
Earth that knows of death, not tears,
Earth that bore with joyful ease
Hemlock for Socrates,
Earth that blossomed and was glad
‘Neath the cross that Christ had,
Shall rejoice and blossom too
When the bullet reaches you.
   Wherefore, men marching
   On the road to death, sing!
   Pour your gladness on earth’s head,
   So be merry, so be dead.

From the hills and valleys earth
Shouts back the sound of mirth,
Tramp of feet and lilt of song
Ringing all the road along.
All the music of their going,
Ringing, swinging, glad song-throwing,
Earth will echo still, when foot
Lies numb and voice mute.
   On, marching men, on
   To the gates of death with song.
   Sow your gladness for earth’s reaping,
   So you may be glad, through sleeping.
   Strew your gladness on earth’s bed,
   So be merry, so be dead.

                        Charles Hamilton Sorley.
(Killed in action near Hullach, October, 1915.)

From “Marlborough and Other Poems.”  University Press. [page 181]

]


 CROCUSES IN NOTTINGHAM.

 (From a Trench.)

OUT here the dogs of war run loose,
   Their whipper-in is Death;
Across the spoilt and battered fields
   We hear their sobbing breath.
The fields where grew the living corn
   Are heavy with our dead;
Yet still the fields at home are green
   And I have heard it said
                                          That—
There are crocuses at Nottingham!
Wild crocuses at Nottingham!
Blue crocuses at Nottingham!
   Though here the grass is red.

There are little girls at Nottingham
   Who do not dread the Boche,
Young girls at school at Nottingham
   (Lord!  how I need a wash!)
There are little boys at Nottingham
   Who think we’re here for fun.
                                           When—
There are crocuses at Nottingham!
Young crocus buds at Nottingham!
Thousands of buds at Nottingham
   Ungathered by the Hun.

But here we trample down the grass
   Into a purple slime; [page 182]
There lives no tree to give the birds
   House room in pairing time.
We live in holes, like cellar rats,
   But through the noise and smell
I often see those crocuses
   Of which the people tell.
                                          Why—
There are crocuses at Nottingham!
Bright crocuses at Nottingham!
Real crocuses at Nottingham!
   Because we’re here in Hell.

                                            M. B. H.

The Times.


 IN ENGLAND.

 (Written after the author had red “Crocuses in Nottingham” in The Times.)

TO-DAY the lonely winds are loose,
   And crying goes the rain,
And here we walk the fields they knew,
   The Dead who died in pain.
The fields that wait the slow hours long
   For sounds that shall not come—
In other fields, in other earth
   The laughing hearts lie dumb.
                                                    And—
There are silent homes in England now,
And wakeful eyes in England, now,
And tired hearts in England, now,
   Unhailed by fife or drum. [page 183]
There are crocuses at Nottingham
   And jonquils in the south,
And any Dorset child may press
   A snowdrop to her mouth.
The broken flesh that Flanders keeps,
   It, too, may have its flowers,
But are they haunted, memory-sad,
   As these new buds of ours?
                                                For—
There are ghosts abroad in England, now,
And crying winds in England, now,
And none forget in England, now,
   The wasted lives and powers.

Here, we who cannot even die
   Live out our emptied days—
The maimed, the blind, the witless, throng
   Our unassaulted ways.
Around our lives, the broken lives
   Like worthless toys downthrown,
And they were dropped in Hell, whilst here
   The early flowers had blown.
                                                     But—
Our hearts are pierced in England, now,
And none forget in England, now,
That redder seed than England’s now
   In Flanders earth is sown!

                                              Mary O’Rourke.

The Times. [page 184]


 HOME THOUGHTS FROM LAVENTIE.

GREEN gardens in Laventie!
   Soldiers only know the street
Where the mud is churned and splashed about
   By battle-wending feet;
And yet beside one stricken house there is a glimpse of grass—
      Look for it when you pass.

Beyond the church who pitted spire
   Seems balanced on a strand
Of swaying stone and tottering brick,
   Two roofless ruins stand;
And here, among the wreckage, where the back-wall should have been,
      We found a garden green.

The grass was never trodden on,
   The little path of gravel
Was overgrown with celandine;
   No other folk did travel
Along its weedy surface but the nimble-footed mouse,
      Running from house to house.

So all along the tender blades
   Of soft and vivid grass
We lay, nor heard the limber wheels
   That pass and ever pass
In noisy continuity until their stony rattle
      Seems in itself a battle. [page 185]

At length we rose up from this ease
   Of tranquil, happy mind,
And searched the garden’s little length
   Some new pleasance to find;
And there some yellow daffodils, and jasmine hanging high,
      Did rest the tired eye.

The fairest and most fragrant
   Of the many sweets we found
Was a little bush of Daphne flower
   Upon a mossy mound,
And so thick were the blossoms set and so divine the scent
      That we were well content.

Hungry for Spring I bent my head,
   The perfume fanned my face,
And all my soul was dancing
   In that lovely little place,
Dancing with a measured step from wrecked and shattered towns
      Away . . . upon the Downs.

I saw green banks of daffodil,
   Slim poplars in the breeze,
Great tan-brown hares in gusty March
   A-courting on the leas.
And meadows, with their glittering streams—and silver-scurrying dace—
      Home, what a perfect place!

                                                                                   E. Wyndham Tennant.
                                                             (Killed in action, September, 1915.)

The Times. [page 186]


 TO C. H. V.

WHAT shall I bring to you, wife of mine,
   When I come back from the war?
A ribbon your dear brown hair to twine?
   A shawl from a Berlin store?
Say, shall I choose you some Prussian hack
   When the Uhlans we o’erwhelm?
Shall I bring you a Potsdam goblet back
   And the crest from a Prince’s helm?

Little you’d care what I laid at your feet,
   Ribbon or crest or shawl—
What if I bring you nothing, sweet,
   Nor maybe come home at all?
Ah, but you’ll know, Brave Heart, you’ll know
   Two things I’ll have kept to send:
Mine honour for which you bade me go,
   And my love—my love to the end.

                                                    R. E. Vernède.
                       (Died of wounds, April 9, 1917.)

From “War Poems” by R. E. Vernède.  London:  Heinemann.


 BEFORE THE ASSAULT.

IF thro’ this roar o’ the guns one prayer may reach Thee,
   Lord of all Life, whose mercies never sleep,
Not in our time, not now, Lord, we beseech Thee
   To grant us peace.  The sword has bit too deep. [page 187]

We may not rest.  We hear the wail of mothers
   Mourning the sons who fill some nameless grave:
Past us, in dreams, the ghosts march of our brothers
   Who were most valiant . . . whom we could not save.

We may not rest.  What though our eyes be holden,
   In sleep we see dear eyes yet wet with tears,
And locks that once were, oh, so fair and golden,
   Grown grey in hours more pitiless than years.

We see all fair things fouled—homes love’s hands builded
   Shattered to dust behind their withered vines,
Shattered the towers that once Thy sunsets gilded,
   And Christ struck yet again with His shrines.

Over them hangs the dust of death, beside them
   The dead lie countless—and the foe laughs still!
We may not rest, while those cruel mouths deride them,
   We, who were proud, yet could not work Thy will.

We have failed—we have been more weak than these betrayers—
   In strength or in faith we have failed; our pride was vain.
How can we rest, who have not slain the slayers?
   What peace for us, who have seen Thy children slain?

Hark, the roar grows . . . the thunders re-awaken—
   We ask one thing, Lord, only one thing now:
Hearts high as theirs, who went to death unshaken,
   Courage like theirs to make and keep their vow. [page 188]

To stay not till theses hosts whom mercies harden,
   Who know no glory save of sword and fire,
Find in our fire the splendour of Thy pardon,
   Meet from our steel the mercy they desire. . . .

Then to our children there shall be no handling
   Of fates so vain—of passions so abhorred . . .
But Peace . . . the Peace which passes understanding . . .
   Not in our time . . . but in their time, O Lord.

                                                                  R. E. Vernède.
   December, 1916.
From “War Poems” by R. E. Vernède.  London:  Heinemann.


 ENGLAND TO THE SEA.

HEARKEN, O Mother, hearken to thy daughter!
   Fain would I tell thee what men tell to me,
Saying that henceforth no more on any water
   Shall I be first or great or loved or free.

But that these others—so the tale is spoken—
   Who have not known thee all these centuries,
By fire and sword shall yet turn England broken
   Back from thy breast and beaten from thy seas.

Me—whom thou barest where thy waves should guard me,
   Me—whom thou suckled’st on thy milk of foam,
Me—whom thy kisses shaped what while they marred me,
   To whom thy storms are sweet and ring of home. [page 189]

“Behold,” they cry, “she is grown soft and strengthless,
   All her proud memories changed to fear and fret.”
Say, thou, who hast watched through ages that are lengthless,
   Whom have I feared, and when did I forget?

What sons of mine have shunned thy whorls and races?
   Have I not reared for thee time and again
And bid go forth to share thy fierce embraces
   Sea-ducks, sea-wolves, sea-rovers, sea-men?

Names that thou knowest—great hearts that thou holdest,
   Rocking them, rocking them in an endless wake—
Captains the world can match not with its boldest,
   Hawke, Howard, Grenville, Frobisher, Drake?

Nelson—the greatest of them all—the master
   Who swept across thee like a shooting star,
And, while the earth stood veiled before disaster,
   Caught Death and slew him—there—at Trafalgar?

Mother, they knew me then as thou didst know me;
   Then I cried, Peace, and every flag was furled:
But I am old, it seems, and they would show me
   That never more my peace shall  bind the world.

Wherefore, O Sea, I, standing thus before thee,
   Stretch forth my hands unto thy surge and say:
When they come forth who seek this empire o’er thee,
   And I go forth to meet them—on that day [page 190]

God grant to us the old Armada weather,
   The winds that rip, the heavens that stoop and lour—
Not till the Sea and England sink together,
   Shall they be masters!  Let them boast that hour!

                                                                  R. E. Vernède.

From “War Poems” by R. E. Vernède.  London:  Heinemann.


 “THE SEA IS HIS.”

THE SEA is His:  He made it,
   Black gulf and sunlit shoal,
From barriered bight to where the long
   Leagues of Atlantic roll:
Small strait and ceaseless ocean
   He bade each one to be:
The Sea is His:  He made it—
   And England keeps it free.

By pain and stress and striving
   Beyond the nations’ ken,
By vigils stern when others slept,
   By many lives of men;
Through nights of storm, through dawnings
   Blacker than midnights be—
This Sea that God created,
   England has kept it free.

Count me the splendid captains
   Who sailed with courage high
To chart the perilous ways unknown—
   Tell me where these men lie! [page 191]
To light a path for ships to come
   They moored at Dead Man’s quay;
The Sea is God’s—He made it,
   And these men made it free.

Oh, little land of England,
   Oh, Mother of hearts too brave,
Men say this trust shall pass from thee
   Who guardest Nelson’s grave.
Aye, but these braggarts yet shall learn
   Who’d hold the world in fee,
The Sea is God’s—And England,
   England shall keep it free.

                                       R. E. Vernède.

From “War Poems” by R. E. Verneède.  London:  Henemann.


 OUR SUBMARINES.

WOULD we had found for you,
   Brave little fleet!
Names of high sound for you,
   Good to repeat.
You bear no name for us
   Daring and fine,
You who won fame for us,
   Gallant “E9”!

All that belongs to us
   Ships to us gave;
Names that are songs to us
   Float on the wave. [page 192]

You bear no name for us,
   Lost in the Sea!
You who died game for us,
   Gallant “E3”!

Names that bring cheer with them—
   Ships of the line—
Long may you steer with them,
   Daring “E9”!
Though but a number now,
   Yours shall survive,
Blest where you slumber now,
   Gallant “D5”!

                                  S. R. Lysaght.

The Spectator.
(It will be remembered that the E9 (Lieutenant Commander Max K. Horton) was the submarine that sank the German cruiser Hela and the German destroyed 
S126, and that the E3 (Lieutenant Commander George F. Cholmley) was sunk by the Germans in the North Sea, and submarine D5 
(Lieutenant Commander Godfrey Herbert) was sunk by a mine following the attack by a German squadron on the Haleyon off Lowestoft, November 3rd, 1914.)


 KILMENY.

 (A Song of the Trawlers.)

DARK, dark lay the drifters, against the red west,
   As they shot their long meshes of steel overside;
And the oily green waters were rocking to rest
   When Kilmeny went out, at the turn of the tide. [page 193]
And nobody knew where that lassie would roam,
   For the magic that called her was tapping unseen.
It was well nigh a week ere Kilmeny came home,
   And nobody knew where Kilmeny had been.

She’d a gun at her bow that was Newcastle’s best,
   And a gun at her stern that was fresh from the Clyde,
And a secret her skipper had never confessed,
   Not even at dawn, to his newly-wed bride;
And a wireless that whispered above like a gnome,
   The laughter of London, the boasts of Berlin.
O, it may have been mermaids that lured her from home,
   But nobody knows where Kilmeny had been.

It was dark when Kilmeny came home from her quest,
   With her bridge dabbled red where her skipper had died;
But she moved like a bride with a rose at her breast;
   And “Well done, Kilmeny!” the admiral cried.
Now at sixty-four fathom a conger may come,
   And nose at the bones of a drowned submarine;
But late in the evening Kilmeny came home,
   And nobody knew where Kilmeny had been.

There’s a wandering shadow that stares at the foam,
   Though they sing all the night to old England, their queen,
Late, late in the evening Kilmeny came home,
   And nobody knew where Kilmeny had been. 

                                                                            Alfred Noyes.

The Times. [page 194]


 FATE’S DISCOURTESY.

BE well assured that on our side
   Our challenged oceans fight,
Though headlong wind and heaping tide
   Make us their sport to-night.
Through force of weather, not of war,
   In jeopardy we steer.
Then, welcome Fate’s discourtesy
   Whereby it shall appear
      How in all time of our distress
      As in our triumph too,
      The game is more than the player of the game,
      And the ship is more than the crew!

Be well assured, though wave and wind
   Have mightier blows in store,
That we who keep the watch assigned
   Must stand to it the more:
And as our streaming bows dismiss
   Each billow’s baulked career,
Sing, welcome Fate’s discourtesy
   Whereby it is made clear
      How in all time of our distress
      As in our triumph too,
      The game is more than the player of the game,
      And the ship is more than the crew!

Be well assured, though in our power
   Is nothing left to give,
But time and place to meet the hour
   And leave to strive to live, [page 195]
Till these dissolve our Order holds,
   Our Service binds us here.
Then, welcome Fate’s discourtesy
   Whereby it is made clear
      How in all time of our distress
      And our deliverance too,
      The game is more than the player of the game,
      And the ship is more than the crew!

                                                      Rudyard Kipling.


 THE STRONG YOUNG EAGLES.

SO one by one the strong young eagles fall,
   Yet day by day new eagles take the sky,
Beating with eager pinions at the wall
   Where those who live are those who dare to die.

So one by one the strong young eagles fall
   With broken wings, but with unconquered souls,
Leaving to those who follow where they call
   A flaming, far-flung vision of their goals.

America, these eagles are your sons!
   Hold to the faith and keep your vision sure.
O Nation, be ye worthy of their guns,
   These eagles, dead, that freedom may endure!

                                  Harold Trowbridge Pulsifer.
                   (Master Signal Electrician, U.S.N.A.) [page 196]


 THE RAG-TIME ARMY.

THEY call us the Rag-time Army, and maybe they’ve named us right,
Our drill may be kind of ragged—but, say, have you seen us fight?
For drilling is only drilling, but fighting’s a good man’s game,
And a scrap with the Rag-time Army has never been voted tame.
We’re a kind of a hybrid outfit—we’re soldiers and civies, too—
Just civies dressed up in khaki, determined to see things through
Till the Kaiser is trimmed to a finish and Fritzy has jumped the ring;
   Though we may not scrap by the book of rules
   And at fancy drilling we’re plain damned fools,
We can put up a fine performance when it comes to the real thing.

Considering us as soldiers, we’re only an empty bluff,
We look like a bunch of dummies when we get on the “Slope arms” stuff;
Our dressing is something awful—our “Fours” run from two to six;
We can’t even change direction without an infernal mix.
But our shooting is not so rotten, and we know what a bomb is for;
They say we’re not bad with the bayonet though our drill is so awful poor; [page 197]
And Fritz doesn’t love the Canucks and I think that’s the safest test;
   We drag on the march like a flock of sheep
   Our discipline makes all the Brass Hats weep
But the sloppy old Rag-time Army goes “over the top” with the best.

We’re Doctors, and Farmers, and Lawyers, and Cowboys, and City Clerks,
The Office-boy is a Sergeant, and the fellow that owned the works
Is a beautiful big buck Private, who jumps at the Sergeant’s word,
And the boss of a ranch takes orders from the fellow that tended herd.
We’re Bankers, and Brokers, and Butchers; we’re Confidence-men and Cooks,
We’re the fellows that dig the ditches, we’re the fellows that keep the books,
We’re the men of the Pick and Shovel, we’re the men of the brush and pen;
   From the shovel-stiff to the Millionaire,
   If you’re looking for them, you’ll find them here—
In the ranks of the Rag-time Army they count, one and all, as men.

We heard in the far, faint distance the sound of a world at war,
And we jumped our jobs and came crowding to the call of the cannon’s roar;
From city and town, and homestead, from cabin, and camp, and mine,
From the wash of the warm Pacific and the ice of the Arctic line. [page 198]
And battle to us meant nothing, and war was a thing unknown,
But, somewhere, deep in our being, far deeper than blood or bone,
Spoke the voice of the old grey Mother, Who rules from Her Island Throne.
   “In a world of war will my sons abide,
    “In peace, or fight at the mother’s side?
“Answer, Blood of the Mother’s Blood, and Bone of the Mother’s Bone.”

Then the little old Rag-time Army rose up at the Mother’s call,
And the little old Rag-time Army has learned how to fight and fall;
And the little old Rag-time Army is doing its little bit,
And the Huns know the Rag-time Army, and they’re not very fond of it.
There are little white crosses marking the beds where the Canucks lie—
(For drilling is only drilling—can drill teach a man to die?)
But, when we come to the finish, to the close of the Huns’ great “day,”
   When we’ve smashed the Hun on the Western Line,
   When our shells are screaming across the Rhine,
You’ll find the old Rag-time Army at work in its own old way.

This poem and the two following are from “Buddy’s Blighty and Other Verses from the Trenches,” by Lieutenant Jack Turner, M.C.  Copyright, 1918, by Small, Maynard and Company, Incorporated.  Reprinted by permission of the publishers. [page 199]


 NO MAN’S LAND.

IN the sunny South and the naked North,
   The old wise East and the younger West,
Poets have lived and songs sent forth,
   Lauding the land that they held the best.
Dante has written of Heaven and Hell,
   Of souls in torment and angel band,
What of the land where no man may dwell?
   Who writes the ballad of No Man’s Land?

Grim and gaunt in the morning’s grey,
   Barren and bare in the noon-day’s light,
Livid and lone when the star-shells play.
   A deadly desert through day and night.
‘Neath the maxim’s hail and the shrapnel’s sweep,
   Who may cross it and hope to stand?
And, who is there and holds life so cheap
   As the men who wander in No Man’s Land?

Narrow kingdom of dread and fear,
   Where Death Omnipotent holds his sway,
From the Northern Sea to the South frontier
   Lie heaps of clothing and mouldering clay.
All that is left of the men who died
   In the dark alone, that the men who stand
On guard, in the trenches that wander wide,
   May rule the Kingdom of No Man’s Land.

Many a man goes gay to death
   In the rush and riot of charging men,
When high hearts leap to the deep-drawn breath,
   Who cares for bullet or bayonet then? [page 200]
But the man must be made in a hero’s mould
   Who dares to wander with life in hand,
Where the shadow of Death’s dark wings enfold
   The fatal field that is No Man’s Land.

Many a gallant life has fled,
   To the bursting bomb and the bayonet’s thrust,
And the grey rats feast on the year-old dead,
   In the slimy mud and the poisoned dust.
In death and decay they lie supine,
   Where never a tree or a house may stand,
Who would win the day on the Western line,
   Must pay the price out in No Man’s Land.

Sing of your heroes of golden lands,
   Men of Carthage and Greece and Rome,
Of Nelson and Drake and their hero bands,
   Sailor Sons of our Island Home,
Who ruled the earth and who dared the deep,
   With hero heart and unfaltering hand,
Have they more honour than those who sleep
   The last long sleep out in No Man’s Land?

L’ENVOI.

Who is the man with the poet’s soul,
   The soldier’s eye and the craftsman’s hand,
Who will worthily carve on Fame’s fair scroll
   The deathless epic of No Man’s Land?

                                          Lieutenant Jack Turner, M. C. [page 201]


 OVER THE WALL.

THE shells are screaming over our heads,
   And the guns are roaring to beat the band,
They’re having a merry hell of a time
   On the other border of No Man’s Land;
But through the rush and the roar and the reek
   A message drops on the waiting ear,
And the shrieking shrapnel and roaring guns
   Bring tidings of comfort and hearty cheer.
“Look to your bayonet and see to your bombs,
   Be sure that your rifle is working right,
We’ve lain in the mud for a long, long while,
   But we’re going over the wall to-night.”

The parapet’s smashed to a shapeless mass,
   And the wire is hanging in tattered strings,
The guns have the range to a split frog’s hair,
   And they sure are making a mess of things,
The sandbags soar like the mounting lark,
   And the armoured dug-outs are pounded flat,
That shattered wood was a gun-base once,
   But the nine-point-twos put an end to that.
Just let the artillery clear the way,
   You can bet your boots that they’ll do it right
There’ll be mighty little to hold us up.
   When we go over the wall to-night.

Eighteen-pounder and nine-point-two;
   Fifteen-inch and seventy-five,
Paving the path where the bayonets go,
   Blazing the trail for another drive. [page 202]
The shrapnel drips like a driving rain,
   The H.E.’s batter at every bay,
And Fritz is down in his dug-outs deep,
   Thirty feet in the stubborn clay.
Dig your deepest and burrow your best,
   We’ll dig you out with the bayonet bright,
You’ll find six fathoms is none too deep,
   When we go over the wall to-night.

The Sergeant-Major’s round with the rum—
   The bombers are loosening up their pins,
The captain’s got his eye on his watch,
   Two minutes more and the show begins.
Brave your feet on the firing step,
   Ready to jump when the whistles blow,
Think of the weary months in the mud,
   Of the boys “gone West” that we used to know.
We’ve quite a score to settle with Fritz,
   But we’ll pay up our debts in full, and write
“Paid” at the foot of the long account,
   When we go over the wall to-night.

The Captain’s whistle’s between his teeth
   And the guns lift on to the second line;
The whistle shrieks and away we go,
   ‘Cross the narrow strip where the bullets whine,
Splashing thro’ cess-pools of stinking slime,
   Stumbling through mud that is foul and deep,
Over that shell-pocked No Man’s Land,
   As wolves swoop down on the cowering sheep. [page 203]
The shrapnel’s tearing gaps in the ranks,
   Lines wither away in the Maxim’s blast,
But who cares a curse for his life to-night?
   We’re over the wall and away at last.

Through the wire and down the trench,
   Stab and batter and shoot and thrust,
Bomb and bayonet and rifle clubbed,
   Berserk mad with the battle lust.
there’s a few more acres of France set free,
   At the point of the bayonet we’ve pushed the line
A few yards further along the way—
   The long red road to the rolling Rhine.
We’ve given the Kaiser another push,
   To help him along to his final fall,
And freedom and peace drew a step more near,
   When the boys were up and over the wall.

                               Lieutenant Jack Turner, M. C.


 THE BATTLE OF LIEGE.

NOW spake the Emperor to all his shining battle forces,
To the Lancers, and the Rifles, to the Gunners and the Horses;—
And his pride surged up within him as he saw their banners stream!—
“’Tis a twelve-day march to Paris, by the road our fathers travelled,
And the prize is half an empire when the scarlet road’s unravelled— [page 204]
Go you now across the border,
God’s decree and William’s order—
Climb the frowning Belgian ridges
With your naked swords agleam!
Seize the City of the Bridges—
Then get on, get on to Paris—
To the jewelled streets of Paris—
To the lovely woman, Paris, that has driven me to dream!”

A hundred thousand fighting men
They climbed the frowning ridges,
With their flaming swords drawn free
And their pennants at their knee.
They went up to their desire,
To the City of the Bridges,
with their naked brands outdrawn
Like the lances of the dawn!
In a swelling surf of fire,
Crawling higher—higher—higher—
Till they crumpled up and died
Like a sudden wasted tide,
And the thunder in their faces beat them down and flung them wide!

They had paid a thousand men,
Yet they formed and came again,
For they heard the silver bugles sounding challenge to their pride,
And they rode with swords agleam
For the glory of a dream,
And they stormed up to the cannon’s mouth and withered there, and died. . . . [page 205]
The daylight lay in ashes
On the blackened western hill,
And the dead were calm and still;
But the Night was torn with gashes—
Sudden ragged crimson gashes—
And the siege-guns snarled and roared,
With their flames thrust like a sword,
And the tranquil moon came riding on the heaven’s silver ford.

What a fearful world was there,
Tangled in the cold moon’s hair!
Man and beast lay hurt and screaming,
(Men must die when Kings are dreaming!)
While within the harried town
Mothers dragged their children down
As the awful rain came screaming
For the glory of a Crown!

So the Morning flung her cloak
Through the hanging pall of smoke—
Trimmed with red, it was, and dripping with a deep and angry stain!
And the Day came walking then
Through a lane of murdered men,
And her light fell down before her like a Cross upon the plain!
But the forts still crowned the height
With a bitter iron crown!
They had lived to flame and fight,
They had lived to keep the Town!
And they poured their havoc down
All that day . . . and all that night. . . . [page 206]
While four times their number came,
Pawns that played a bloody game!—
With a silver trumpeting,
For the glory of the King,
To the barriers of the thunder and the fury of the flame!

So they stormed the iron Hill, 
O’er the sleepers lying still,
And their trumpets sang them forward through the dull succeeding dawns,
But the thunder flung them wide,
And they crumpled up and died,—
They had waged the war of monarchs—and they died the death of pawns.

But the forts still stood. . . . Their breath
Swept the foeman like a blade,
Though ten thousand men were paid
To the hungry purse of Death,
Though the field was wet with blood,
Still the bold defences stood,
Stood!
And the King came out with his bodyguard at the day’s departing gleam—
And the moon rode up behind the smoke and showed the King his dream.

                                                                                          Dana Burnet.

The Outlook. [page 207]


 FLEURETTE.

 The Wounded Canadian Speaks:

My leg?  It’s off at the knee.
Do I miss it?  Well, some.  You see
I’ve had it since I was born;
And lately a devilish corn.
(I rather chuckle with glee
To think how I’ve fooled that corn.)
But I’ll hobble around all right.
It isn’t that, it’s my face.
Oh, I know I’m a hideous sight,
Hardly a thing in place.
Sort of gargoyle, you’d say.
Nurse won’t give me a glass,
But I see the folks as they pass
Shudder and turn away;
Turn away in distress. . . .
Mirror enough, I guess.

I’m gay! You bet I am gay.
But I wasn’t a while ago.
If you’d seen me even to-day,
The darnedest picture of woe,
With this Caliban mug of mine,
So ravaged and raw and red,
Turned to the wall—in fine
Wishing that I was dead. . . .
What has happened since then,
Since I lay with my face to the wall,
The most despairing of men!
Listen! I’ll tell you all. [page 208]

That poilu across the way,
With the shrapnel wound on his head,
Has a sister: she came to-day
To sit awhile by this bed.
All morning I heard him fret:
“Oh, when will she come, Fleurette?”

Then sudden, a joyous cry;
The tripping of little feet;
The softest, tenderest sigh;
A voice so fresh and sweet;
Clear as a silver bell,
Fresh as the morning dews:
“C’est toi, c’est toi, Marcel!
Mon frère, comme je suis heureuse!”

So over the blanket’s rim
I raised my terrible face,
And I saw—how I envied him!
A girl of such delicate grace;
Sixteen, all laughter and love;
As gay as a linnet, and yet
As tenderly sweet as a dove;
Half woman, half child—Fleurette.

Then I turned to the wall again.
(I was awfully blue, you see,)
“Such visions are not for me.”
So there like a log I lay,
All hidden, I thought, from view,
When sudden I heard her say:
Ah! Who is that malheureux?” [page 209]
Then briefly I heard him tell
(However he came to know)
How I’d smothered a bomb that fell
Into the trench, and so
None of my men were hit,
Though it busted me up a bit.

Well, I didn’t quiver an eye,
And he chattered, and there she sat;
And I fancied I heard her sigh—
But I wouldn’t just swear to that.
And maybe she wasn’t so bright,
Though she talked in a merry strain,
And I closed my eyes ever so tight,
Yet I saw her ever so plain:
Her dear little tilted nose,
Her delicate, dimpled chin,
Her mouth like a budding rose,
And the glistening pearls within;
Her eyes like the violet:
Such a rare little queen—Fleurette.

And at last when she rose to go,
The light was a little dim,
And I ventured to peep, and so
I saw her, graceful and slim,
And she kissed him and kissed him, and oh
How I envied and envied him!

So when she was gone I said,
In rather a dreary voice,
To him of the opposite bed:
“Ah, friend, how you must rejoice! [page 210]
But me, I’m a thing of dread.
For me nevermore the bliss,
The thrill of a woman’s kiss.”

Then I stopped, for lo! she was there,
And a great light shone in her eyes.
And me! I could only stare,
I was taken so by surprise,
When gently she bent her head:
“May I kiss you, sergeant?” she said.

Then she kissed my burning lips,
With her mouth like a scented flower,
And I thrilled to the finger-tips,
And I hadn’t even the power
To say: “God bless you, dear!”
And I felt such a precious tear
Fall on my withered cheek,
And darn it! I couldn’t speak.
And so she went sadly away,
And I know that my eyes were wet.
Ah, not to my dying day
Will I forget, forget!
Can you wonder now I am gay?
God bless her, that little Fleurette!

Robert W. Service. [page 211]


 THE DESERTER.

 (From the Ukrainian of Fedkovich.)

OI!  he sat at the table, ‘neath the lamp to see better—
‘Twas written so finely, like snow was the letter.
(So fine and like snow!)  Then he bowed down his head there,
A-thinking so sadly of what she had said there:

“Oi!  the dear little mother!  She always keeps saying
That the winter is heavy, cold on her ‘tis weighing.
There is no one—is no one—to cut up her wood now!
Her son is the Emperor’s—O that he could now!”

And he leaped like a flame, took the skies like a swallow.
Not so swift was the wind which must follow, must follow!
To his little old mother flew, winged with desire,
To cut up her wood and to build up her fire.

                                                 Florence Randal Livesay.
                   (Author of “Songs of Ukraine,” Dent, 1916.)


THE SOUND OF THE CRYING.

   “——The soldiers were being mobilized, and at every turning women were sobbing . . . but it seemed to me the earth herself was crying, so gently, so sadly that my own heart ached.”—Stephen Graham, in The Times.

“DID you hear the earth crying?
   Co—m!  Co—m!  Co—m! . . .”

I have heard that strange crying,
Lament for the dying
   Who march to the tomb.

Perchance it was sobbing
Of women; men robbing
   Small homes of their light.
   “Co—m!  Co—m!  Co—m!”
      One hears it atnight.

O were it the human,
Sad earth, or sad woman
   It rings in my ears.
   “Co—m!  Co—m!  Co—m!”
      The rain of the tears.

          Florence Randal Livesay.


 THE ANXIOUS DEAD.

O GUNS, fall silent till the dead men hear
   Above their heads the legions pressing on!
(These fought their fight in time of bitter fear
   And died not knowing how the day had gone.)

O flashing muzzles, pause and let them see
   The coming dawn that streaks the sky afar!
Then let your mighty chorus witness be
   To them, and Cæsar, that we still make war.

Tell them, O guns, that we have heard their call;
   That we have sworn and will not turn aside;
That we will onward till we win or fall;
   That we will keep the faith for which they died. [page 213]

Bid them be patient, and some day, anon,
   They shall feel earth enwrapt in silence deep—
Shall greet in wonderment the quiet dawn,
   And in content may turn them to their sleep.

                                          Lt.-Col. John McCrae.

The Spectator.


 IN MEMORY OF LT.-COL. JOHN McCRAE.

ACROSS the fields of Flanders
   The snow lies as a pall,
And moaning o’er the wasted land,
   The winds arise and fall;
But he, who sang in Flanders fields,
   Has passed beyond their call.

The spring will come to Flanders,
   And poppies bloom again—
As when he marked them sentinel
   Upon the cross-strewn plain;
And they will breathe of love and life
   Triumphant over pain.

And when we dream of Flanders—
   Torn land of griefs and fears—
We shall recall his memory
   Through all the coming years;
When silence broods o’er Flanders fields,
   And peace enshrines our tears.

                                Stella M. Bainbridge.

The University Magazine. [page 214]


 COUNTRY OF MINE.

COUNTRY of mine that gave me birth,
   Land of the maple and the pine,
What richer gift has this round earth
   Than these fair fruitful fields of thine?
Like sheets of gold thy harvests run,
Glowing beneath the August sun;
   Thy white peaks soar,
   Thy cataracts roar,
   Thy forests stretch from shore to shore;
Untamed thy Northern prairies lie
Under an open, boundless sky;
   Yet one thing more our hearts implore—
That greatness may not pass thee by!

Thy sons have proved them of the breed
   Their gallant British fathers were,
They sprang to arms at Britain’s need
   Young lions truly bred of her;
Their faces glowed with inner light,
As rank by rank they swept from sight;
   With hearts aflame
   They stemmed the shame,
And met the hordes that ruthless came;
Dying, they whispered still thy name—
   O Canada, wilt thou deny
   The prayer of these who dared to die,
   And let true greatness pass thee by? [page 215]

“Prosperity, prosperity”!—
   ‘Twas not for this they took the sword,
The ensign of thy destiny
   Unfurled for them a deeper word;
In tears and blood they paid the price,
And thou art pledged in sacrifice;
   Oh, not in vain
   The loss, the pain,
   If thou dost mourn thy mighty slain
   In hearts forsworn of greed and gain,
In hearts that bowed and broken cry
For light and guidance from on high,
That greatness may not pass us by!

                                    Helena Coleman.

From “Marching Men.”  J. M. Dent & Sons, Toronto.


 WHAT DID YOU SEE OUT THERE, MY LAD?

WHAT did you see out there, my lad,
That has set that look in your eyes?
You went out a boy, you have come back a man,
With strange new depths underneath your tan;
What was it you saw out there, my lad,
That set such deeps in your eyes?

“Strange things,—and sad,—and wonderful,—
   Things that I scarce can tell,—
I have been in the sweep of the Reaper’s scythe,—
   With God,—and Christ,—and hell. [page 216]

“I have seen Christ doing Christly deeds;
   I have seen the devil at play;
I have grimped to the sod in the hand of God,
   I have seen the Godless pray.

“I have seen Death blast out suddenly
   From a clear blue summer sky;
I have slain like Cain with a blazing brain,
   I have heard the wounded cry.

“I have lain alone among the dead,
   With no hope but to die;
I have seen them killing the wounded ones,
   I have seen them crucify.

“I have seen the Devil in petticoats
   Willing the souls of men;
I have seen great sinners do great deeds,
   And turn to their sins again.

“I have sped through hells of fiery hail,
   With fell red-fury shod;
I have heard the whisper of a voice,
   I have looked in the face of God.”

You’ve a right to your deep, high look, my lad,
You have met God in the ways;
And no man looks into His face
But he feels it all his days.
You’ve a right to your deep, high look, my lad,
And we thank Him for His grace.

                                                    John Oxenham.

By special permission of the author and the publishers, Methuen & Co. [page 217]


 THE HELL-GATE OF SOISSONS.

MY name is Darino, the poet.  You have heard?  Oui, Comédie Françoise.
Perchance it has happened, mon ami, you know of my unworthy lays.
Ah, then you must guess how my fingers are itching to talk to a pen;
For I was at Soissons, and saw it, the death of the twelve Englishmen.

My leg, malheureasement, I left it behind on the banks of the Aisne.
Regret?  I would pay with the other to witness their valour again.
A trifle, indeed, I assure you, to give you for the honour to tell
How that handful of British, undaunted, went into the Gateway of Hell.

Let me draw you a plan of the battle.  Here we French and your Engineers stood;
Over there a detachment of German sharpshooters lay hid in a wood
A mitrailleuse battery planted on top of this well-chosen ridge
Held the road for the Prussians and covered the direct approach to the ridge.

It was madness to dare the dense murder the spewed from those ghastly machines.
(Only those who have danced to its music can know what the mitrailleusemeans.) [page 218]
But the bridge on the Aisne was a menace; our safety demanded its fall:
“Engineers,—volunteers!”  In a body, the Royals stood out at the call.

Death at best was the fate of that mission—to their glory not one was dismayed.
A party was chosen—and seven survived till the powder was laid.
And they died with their fuses unlighted.  Another detachment!  Again
A sortie is made—all too vainly.  The bridge still commanded the Aisne.

We were fighting two foes—Time and Prussia—the moments were worth more than troops.
We must blow up the bridge.  A lone soldier darts out from the Royals and swoops
For the fuse!  Fate seems with us.  We cheer him; he answers—our hopes are reborn!
A ball rips his visor—his khaki shows red where another has torn.

Will he live—will he last—will he make it?  Hélas!  And so near to the goal!
A second, he dies!  Then a third one!  A fourth!  Still the Germans take toll!
A fifth!  magnifique!  It is magic!  How does he escape them?  He may. . . .
Yes, he does! See, the match flares!  A rifle rings out from the wood and says “Nay!” [page 219]

Six, seven, eight, nine take their places; six, seven, eight, nine brave their hail;
Six, seven, eight, nine—how we count them!  But the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth fail!
A tenth.  Sacrée nom!  But these English are soldiers—they know how to try;
(He fumbles the place where his jaw was)—they show, too, how heroes can die.

Ten we count—ten who ventured unquailing—ten there were—and ten are no more!
Yet another salutes and superbly essays where the ten failed before.
God of Battles, look down and protect him!  Lord, his heart is as Thine—let him live!
But the mitrailleuse splutters and stutters, and riddles him into a sieve.

Then I thought of my sins, and sat waiting the charge that we could not withstand.
And I thought of my beautiful Paris, and gave a last look at the land,
At France, my belle France, in her glory of blue sky and green field and wood.
Death with honour, but never surrender.  And to die with such men—it was good.

They are forming—the bugles are blaring—they will cross in a moment and then. . . .
When out of the ling of the Royals (your island, mon ami, breeds men) [page 220]
Burst a private, a tawny-haired giant—it was hopeless, but ciel!  how he ran!
Bon Dieu, please remember the pattern, and make many more on his plan!

No cheers from our ranks, and the Germans, they halted in wonderment too;
See, he reaches the bridge; ah!  he lights it!  I am dreaming, it cannot be true.
Screams of rage!  Fusillade!  They have killed him!  Too late, though, the good work is done.
By the valour of twelve English martyrs, the Hell-Gate of Soissons is won!

                                                                                    Herbert Kaufman.

T. Fisher Unwin. Ltd.


 CASUALTY LISTS.

SAD beyond words?  Yea, words have found an ending.
   Comes music now, and the diviner strife
Of note on note, like flame on flame ascending
   Towards the crown of life.

Waste beyond count?  Who then shall count or weigh them,
   Call down the darkness, bid the splendour close?
Pain could not break their youth nor hatred slay them,
   Who triumph with the rose. [page 221]

Dear beyond price the long field and the fallow,
   Where dark elm-shadows loose a tender sun.
What spring could crown the cup, what harvest hallow
   More than these deaths have done?

Noon to great noon shall tell their boyhood’s story,
   Dawn on far hill shall know them lovelier yet.
Twilight shall fall the fairer for their glory.
   The stars shall not forget.

                                                           Marjorie Pickthall.


 OUT THERE.

OUT there, the salt spray whips
The blood from frozen faces and dumb lips,
Young eyes grow old with watching, hair turns white,
In the long vigils of the North Sea  night;
And the white crest of every curling wave
   Is the grim headstone of a sailor’s grave.

      For those who sweep the seven seas,
         Lord of the Deep, we pray,
      If theirs be the Sum of Sacrifice
         Grant us the Right to Pay.

Out there, grim fragments lie
In awful heaps beneath the leaden sky,
And Noise unceasing stuns the reeling brain;
Colder than Death, the bullet’s sharper pain
Unheeded passes, and with scarce a moan
   Young lives go out into the dark, alone. [page 222]

      For those who suffer Death in Life,
         Lord God of Hosts, we pray,
      If theirs be the Sum of Sacrifice,
         Grant us the Right to Pay.

Out there, where’er they be,—
Wasting with fever by some southern sea,—
Braving the heights where mind and senses reel,
Death’s icy fingers clutching at the wheel—
Finding at last, unsought, the Great Reward,
   They lay their manhood on thine altar, Lord.

      For all who suffer and starve and die,
         That Honour and Truth may live,
      Shatter our self-complacence, Lord,
         And teach us How to Give.

                                             Elspeth Honeyman.

New York Times.


 RESULT OF GREAT (BLANK-DASH) ATTACK

(From our own Expert at the back.)

(SUBMITTED to the Press Bureau,
Who will not swear it’s true, although
They do not think its publication
Will jeopardise the British nation.) [page 223]

A TOWN IN EURPOPE,

(Blank o’clock,

November (dash).

          A fearful shock
Of arms that occurred at (blank) to-day,
And I’m at liberty to say
That the result was (blank-dash-blank),
For which we have the (blanks) to thank
The whole (dash) Corps of (censored) Huns,
Supported by (omitted) guns,
Advanced at daylight, and were faced
By (here a passage is erased),
Who held a very strong position
Resting upon (a long omission).
The (blanks) were able to advance
And occupy (a town in France);
But presently the (blank) Division
Attacked the trenches of (excision),
And soon (blank-blank) and then (dash-dash)
(Dash-blank, dash-blank) a fearful crash
(A paragraph omitted here),
As a result of which it’s clear
That further efforts will (the rest
Of the report has been surppressed).

                                                  Horace Wyatt.

From “Malice in Kulturland.” [page 224] 

[3 blank pages]

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