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Fifes and Drums/The Answer


There is one answer to all dreams of ease—
One answer to the Teuton's cunning pleas—
One test and touchstone for all hearts that feel;
One word that is a stroke of steel on steel,
A stroke whose clangor sets a long note ringing
That falls upon our ears like distant singing.

One word for you who say the strife must cease—
Justice to her must hold the key of peace—
And you who clamor that our cry should be
Not love of country, but Humanity.
Have you not heard it, as you pass unheeding?
Humanity! In her the world lies bleeding!

Not she alone the dark decree must know—
The first in that great sisterhood of woe,
She speaks, my Country, with your own lost dead;
She brings one answer to your shrinking dread;
Draw now your sword, and set the clear stroke ringing
That falls upon our hearts like mighty singing!

Marion Couthouy Smith.