Patriotic pieces from the Great War/The Trumpet Call
THE TRUMPET CALL
Permission of the author
I dreamed last night of the trumpet-call:
"Come over and help us across the sea,
Come over and help us, brothers all,
We fight for justice and liberty!"
But my couch was soft and my comforts dear,
And the ones I loved had naught to fear,
So I sent this answer across the sea:
"The sons of France shall fight for me,
Russia's arms and the British fleet
Will shelter me in my safe retreat,
Italy's brave are in the field,
And Canada's troops will never yield."
Again in the darkness I heard a call:
"Come over and help us in the fight,
For the cause of freedom we give our all,
In the name of honor and truth and right!"
But my heart was sick with desperate strife,
And I clung to peace as this nation's life.
So I sent my answer across the sea:
"The sons of France shall die for me,
Russia's arms and the British fleet,
Will guard this nation against defeat,
Italy's troops are staunch and strong,
And Belgium's faith shall conquer wrong."
Out of the East came a piercing cry:
"'Tis you in your safe retreat who die!
Alive are the sons of France to-day,
O'er the British fleet death holds no sway,
Russia's arms, and Italy's brave,
The valor of Belgium strong to save,
These the immortal standards bear,
You are the dead men over there
In the land made free by the blood of France,
Boasting the Briton's inheritance,
Strong with the strength of every land,
Your fair flag droops in a nerveless hand."
At dawn I rose with my soul aflame,
And I flashed this message across the deep:
"With the living nations enroll my name!
Brothers, we waken from our sleep;
From stately mansion and workshop small,
From mine and mill and college hall,
From mountain and valley and river town,
Men of this nation are winding down.
Sons of France, we will fight to-day!
Fight for the debt we long to pay,
Fight for the valiant British fleet
Guarding our nation from defeat."
And when at last on some glorious morn,
The Peace of a ransomed world is born,
And immortal standards in triumph wave,
Over the heads of the free and the brave,
Glory of France and Britain's pride,
With the Stars and Stripes shall be side by side.