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Soldier poets, songs of the fighting men/G. Rountree Harvey


2/A.M., Royal Flying Corps


The Maid of France

JOAN heard a Voice above the whispering trees:
"Arise, scatter mine enemies!"

She took a banner, but no sword—
Veterans hung on her lightest word;
And, ah, the splendour of the fight,
Proud victory where right was might! . . .

Alas! that ruling frailty could
So mar and betray such glorihood. . . .

Prisoned, fettered to an iron ring,
Her spirit knew no prisoning!

They burned her body at a stake of shame—
As who would quench a flame with flame!
But out of the pyre men watched upsoar
Her grail-like soul, that evermore
Gleams above the lily meads—
And men still follow where she leads. . . .

Across her fields this later day
A blacker tyrant hacks his way;
The sons of France are forth to wage
The war that darkens every age—
Might against Right—and once again
God-sent maid leads fighting men.

This day they name her—LIBERTY . . .
God grant she'll win the victory!


Mother of Sons

YOUR hands are tired with their long day's labour,
Toil-worn hands that have worked with a will;
Must they know no rest till they lie forever
In the last firm clasp, so white and still?

Your dark-rimmed eyes are dim with weeping,
Their heavy lids are fain to close—
Must they know more sorrow ere the last mist rising
Heralds the hour of the long repose? . . .

Twilight is filling the valley hollows,
The dew is falling, the wind grows cold
But look, on the height, the rose of promise
With crimson petals and heart of gold!