The Great War

from The Man Who Saw, an electronic edition

Liège

BETWIXT the Foe and France was she--

France the immortal, France the free.

The Foe, like one vast living sea,

Drew nigh.

He dreamed that none his tide would stay;

But when he bade her to make way,

She, through her cannon, answered, "Nay,

Not I!"

No tremor and no fear she showed:

She held the pass, she barred the road,

While Death's unsleeping feet bestrode

The ground.

So long as deeds of noblest worth

Are sung with joy, and tears, and mirth,

Her glory shall to the ends of the Earth

Resound.

Watched by a world that yearned to aid,

Lonely she stood but undismayed.

Resplendent was the part she played,

And pure.

Praised be her heroes, proud her sons !

She threw her soul into the guns.

Her name shall, with the loveliest ones,

Endure.