The Smile of Rheims
"The Smile," they called her -- "La Sourire"; and fair --
A sculptured angel on the northern door
Of the Cathedral's west façade -- she wore
Through the long centuries of toil and care
That smile, mysteriously wrought and rare,
As if she saw brave visions evermore --
Kings, and an armored Maid who lilies bore,
And all the glories that had once been there.
How like to thee, her undefeated Land!
Wounded by bursting shells, a little space
Broken she lay beneath her ancient portal;
But lifted from the earth with trembling hand,
Victorious, still glowed upon her face,
Thy smile, heroic France, love-given and immortal!
R. A. L., ed. A Calendar of War Verse. : , 1918.