London Times, February 12, 1917.
“LIBERTY ENLIGHTENING THE WORLD”
Thou warden of the western gate, above
The fogs of doubt that hid thy face are driven clean away:
Thine eyes at last look far and clear, thou liftest high thy hand
To spread the light of liberty world-wide for every land.
No more thou dreamest of a peace reserved
alone for thee,
While friends are fighting for thy cause beyond the guardian sea:
The battle that they wage is thine; thou fallest if they fall;
The swollen flood of Prussian pride will sweep unchecked o’er all.
O cruel is the conquer-lust in Hohenzollern
The paths they plot to gain their goal are dark with shameful stains;
No faith they keep, no law revere, no god but naked Might;
They are the foemen of mankind. Up, Liberty, and smite!
Britain, and France, and Italy, and Russia
Have waited for thee in the night. Oh, come as comes the morn!
Serene and strong and full of faith, America, arise,
With steady hope and mighty help to join thy brave Allies.
O dearest country of my heart, home of
the high desire,
Make clean thy soul for sacrifice on Freedom’s altar-fire:
For thou must suffer, thou must fight, until the warlords cease,
And all the peoples lift their heads in liberty and peace.
London Times, April 12, 1917.
THE OXFORD THRUSHES
I never thought again to hear
The Oxford thrushes singing clear,
Amid the February rain,
Their sweet, indomitable strain.
A wintry vapor lightly spreads
Among the trees, and round the beds
Where daffodil and jonquil sleep;
Only the snowdrop wakes to weep.
It is not springtime yet. Alas,
What dark, tempestuous days must pass,
Till England’s trial by battle cease,
And summer comes again with peace.
The lofty halls, the tranquil towers,
Where Learning in untroubled hours
Held her high court, serene in fame,
Are lovely still, yet not the same.
The novices in fluttering gown
No longer fill the ancient town;
But fighting men in khaki drest,
And in the Schools the wounded rest.
Ah, far away, ’neath stranger skies
Full many a son of Oxford lies,
And whispers from his warrior grave,
“I died to keep the faith you gave.”
The mother mourns, but does not fail,
Her courage and her love prevail
O’er sorrow, and her spirit hears
The promise of triumphant years.
Then sing, ye thrushes, in the rain
Your sweet indomitable strain.
Ye bring a word from God on high
And voices in our hearts reply.