The Great War

from Poems of the Great War, an electronic edition

Honor to France!

In peace we held thy worth in scant esteem;

Thy sons were dissolute, thy daughters frail;

How light and fair and fickle didst thou seem

In time of need, alas, how sure to fail!

But when war came, a war that was not thine --

And the flame seared thee, then thy heart we knew.

In that dark tumult how thy soul did shine

Loyal and steadfast, pure and brave and true.

Nay, thou art honored even by the foe,

In martyrdom transformed and glorified!

And we who scorned (how little did we know!)

Stripped of the tattered mantle of our pride,

Let us in self-abasement bend the knee

And pray for God's grace to become like thee.