The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

"Alan Seeger"

No beauty could escape his loving eyes,

Not even ruthless war could hide from view

The smiling fields where crimson poppies grew,

Nor mar the sunset's rose and purple dyes;

He watched a vine--clad slope, with glad surprise

To hear grapepickers sing, although they knew

Just on the other sidethe cannon threw

Their deadly shells and woke the startled skies.

But over all that made Champagne so fair,

He saw the grandeur of the field of strife,

Exulting in the cause that placed him there,

He felt a calm, mid all the carnage rife,

And faced the battle with a spirit rare,

For death may be more wonderful than life.