The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

"What Think Ye?"

WHAT are we fighting for, men of my race,

And the best of us dying for?

For wealth--or profit--or power--or fame?

Or a statesman's lust? or a monarch's name?

Or for aught that our sons of sons could blame

Did we throw the dice of war?

Why are ye weeping, sisters of mine,

With a mien so proud and brave?

Do ye weep because of the utter woe?

Are ye proud because ye would have it so,

Though Fate should have dealt you the final blow

And there's nothing to mark the grave?

What are we fighting for, women and men,

And the best of us dying for?

It was just because we had signed our name,

And the Briton's creed is to honor the same:

It was only for that, and our own fair fame

We took up the gage of war.