By Florence Earle Coates
of The Vigilantes
(The battle of Sedan, ending Sept. 2, 1870, in an overwhelming victory for the Prussians and the capture of the Emperor Napoleon III, was the decisive battle of the Franco-Prussian War.)
How terrible the victory
That undermines the soul!
How better, better far to fail—
To falter from the goal,
And with a brave acceptance meet
The triumph of a high defeat!
France!—generous Land beloved of all!
More glorious made through pain,
Sedan beheld thy loss,—not fall,
And taught how men may gain
Conquests that base desires impart,
Corrupt the will, and rob the heart!