The Great War

from A Treasury of War Poetry, an electronic edition

The Choice

The American Spirit speaks:

To the Judge of Right and Wrong

With Whom fulfillment lies

Our purpose and our power belong,

Our faith and sacrifice.

Let Freedom's land rejoice!

Our ancient bonds are riven;

Once more to us the eternal choice

Of good or ill is given.

Not at a little cost,

Hardly by prayer or tears,

Shall we recover the road we lost

In the drugged and doubting years.

But after the fires and the wrath,

But after searching and pain,

His Mercy opens us a path

To live with ourselves again.

In the Gates of Death rejoice!

We see and hold the good --

Bear witness, Earth, we have made our choice

For Freedom's brotherhood.

Then praise the Lord Most High

Whose Strength hath saved us whole,

Who bade us choose that the Flesh should die

And not the living Soul!