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Patriotic pieces from the Great War/Then Give Us Wings

< Patriotic pieces from the Great War

THEN GIVE US WINGS

If wings will help our men to see
Some Boche's belching battery,
Unloosing from a screen of trees
Its screeching death upon the breeze—
Or help our giant guns to search
With truer aim each hidden perch
Of Teuton guns, and make them meek,
Ere they again may chance to speak—


If wings, O God, will do these things,
Then give us wings.


If great, destroying wings might stay
Munitions in their hurried way,
Or hold a reënforcement back
By dropping ruin on its track,
Or yet set free the pent-up hell
Of depots filled with shot and shell,
Or swiftly give eternal sleep
To ships that prowl the nether deep—


If wings, O God, will do these things,
Then give us wings and still more wings.


If fast, avenging wings might cast
On German cities such a blast
Of desolating death and pain
As fell again and still again
On England's homes—and thus awake
The heart of pity—and so make
An end to killing mothers, wives,
And maiming helpless infant lives—


If wings, O God, will do these things,
Then give us wings, and wings and wings
And still more wings.


If dauntless, daring wings that dash
O'er No-Man's Land, with shot and crash,
Might beat back wings that would assail
Advancing armies with their hail—
If dauntless wings like these that ride
O'er No-Man's Land, might turn the tide
Of great offensive—bring about
Allied success and Teuton rout—


If wings, O God, will do these things,
Then give us wings and wings and wings
Devouring wings that cleave and soar,
And yet more wings and more and more!


If multitudes of wings might rise
To blind aggression's lustful eyes,
And render powerless every stroke
That seeks to force the tyrant's yoke—
If multitudes of wings might give
Democracy a chance to live,
And make this bloody carnage cease,
And bring to earth a lasting peace—


If wings, O God, will do these things,
Then give us wings, and wings and wings,
And still more wings arrayed to smite
Till Vict'ry come—the hosts of light
Beneath the sun, whose pinions shine
Beyond our farthest battle line!