The Great War

from Poems of the Great War, an electronic edition

Revenge for Rheims

Thou Permanence amid all things that pass!

Unchanging Thought amid the drift of change;

Thou Rally of the Soul in days of dross;

How art Thou fallen!

Thou Prayer, that ever-rising, yet remained,

That for seven hundred years didst sing and soar,

Spirit with wings outspread tip-toe on Earth,

How art Thou fallen!

Thou Vision frozen, and Thou Sigh transfixed;

Thou Camp of dreams, Thou Fort of faith unstormed,

Time-worn, yet wearying t'ward Eternity,

How art Thou fallen!

Thou wast to France her Inspiration old,

Thou hadst for ivy earliest memories;

From Thee her Knights, her Angels long looked down;

How art Thou fallen!

What vengeance for Thy ruin shall She hurl?

O, be that vengeance, that the ruin stand,

Only those Choirs for ever unrestored!

Ever unfallen!