The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

Nineteen-Seventeen

"IT" is long since knighthood was in flower,

There are no men today who tower

Above their kind--the knights are dust,

Their names forgot, their good swords rust,''

We idly say. And yet, in truth--

The brave soul has eternal youth,

Like the great lighthouse rising free,

Whose far-flung beams guide ships at sea,

God lifts above his fellow man

A steadfast soul to dare and plan,

A king of men, by right divine,

Who in his forehead hears the sign--

He walks along the city street;

Unknowing, in the fields we meet

A modern knight in whose hand lies

A mighty Nation's destinies.

Then say no more, the knights' are gone;

Honor and Truth and Right live on,

And men today would keep the bridge

Horatius kept--from rocky ridge

Heroic Youth would still fling down

His horse, himself, to save the town.

Columbia calls!

Off with your hats and lift them high,

Our own, our sons are passing by.