The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

The Goldenrod

SOME day the fields of Flanders shall bloom in peace again,

Field lilies and the clover spread where once was crimson stain,

And a new, cheerful golden spray shine through the sun and rain.

The clover's for the English who sleep beneath that sod,

The lily's for the noble French whose spirits rest with God,

But where our sacred dead shall sleep must bloom the goldenrod.

For every flower of summer those meadows will have room,

And yet I think no Flemish hand will touch the Kaiserbloom,

Whose growing blue must evermore whisper of grief and doom.

But clover for the English shall blossom from the sod,

And glorious lilies for the French whose spirits rest with God.

And where our own lads lie asleep the prairie goldenrod.

Once more the Flemish children shall laugh through Flemish lanes,

And gather happy garlands through fields of bygone pains,

And, as they run and cull their flowers, sing in their simple strains:

"These clovers are for English who fought to save this sod,

These lilies for the valiant French--may their souls rest in God!

And for the brave Americans we pluck this goldenrod."