The Great War

from The Man Who Saw, an electronic edition

The Soul of Rouget De Lisle

[Verses founded on an early incident of the War]

THEIR arms shall conquer--to victory led

By a voice like a trumpet's peal;

For a great Ghost marches at their head--

The Soul of Rouget de Lisle.

He gave them the Song that cannot die

Till the world's heart cease to feel;

And they go into battle captain'd by

The Soul of Rouget de Lisle.

Not for the first time--not for the last--

Does an enemy waver and reel

Before the eternal clarion blast

From the Soul of Rouget de Lisle.

For this is the Song shall break the power

That bids men grovel and kneel--

The Song that was born of a mighty hour

In the Soul of Rouget de Lisle.

And its music fires the booming gun

And edges the gleaming steel,

For the Soul of France herself is one

With the Soul of Rouget de Lisle.