The Great War

from A Calendar of Verse, an electronic edition

The German-American

Honor to him whose very blood remembers

The old, enchanted dream-song of the Rhine,

Although his house of life is fair with shine

Of fires new-kindled on the buried embers;

Whose heart is wistful for the flowers he tended

Beside his mother, for the carven gnome

And climbing bear and cuckoo-clock of home,

For the whispering forest path two lovers wended;

Who none the less, still strange in speech and manner,

With our young Freedom keeps his plighted faith,

Sides with his children's hope against the wraith

Of his own childhood, hails the Starry Banner

As emblem of his country now, to-morrow;

A patriot by duty, not by birth.

The costliest loyalty has purest worth.

Honor to him who draws the sword in sorrow!