The Great War

from A Treasury of War Poetry, an electronic edition

To France

Those who have stood for thy cause when the dark was around thee,

Those who have pierced through the shadows and shining have found thee,

Those who have held to their faith in thy courage and power,

Thy spirit, thy honor, thy strength for a terrible hour,

Now can rejoice that they see thee in light and in glory,

Facing whatever may come as an end to the story

In calm undespairing, with steady eyes fixed on the morrow --

The morn that is pregnant with blood and with death and with sorrow.

And whether the victory crowns thee, O France the eternal,

Or whether the smoke and the dusk of a nightfall infernal

Gather about thee, and us, and the foe; and all treasures

Run with the flooding of war into bottomless measures --

Fall what befalls: in this hour all those who are near thee

And all who have loved thee, they rise and salute and revere thee!