The Great War

from A Calendar of Verse, an electronic edition

"The Poet of the Foreign Legion"

Lo! he is gone; star-crowned and clean of tears,

With Fame's immortal blossoms on his hair.

He met Death's kiss; tonight the fields are fair

In peace-lit Avalon where poets rest,

And he is latest guest.

Young Keats is with him -- silver fountains play

A tender threnody for men of earth

Whose eyes are sealed with darkness, and whose birth

Foreshadows pain and grief and deep despair,

Yea, everywhere.

Scatter ye roses -- skyey trophies bring,

And let the night be shattered with your cheers

For him whose sacrifice outlives the years;

The seeds of whose proud songs

Shall work to right Earth's federated wrongs,

By flowering to a mighty harvesting.

Song wed to Chivalry and twined with Love

Of Liberty that sheds a sacred flame,

Enshrines his mem'ry bright as stars above,

And glorifies his name.


Alan Seeger, American soldier-poet, killed in action at Belloy-en-Santerre, France, July 4th, 1916.