The Great War

from A Treasury of War Poetry, an electronic edition

To Belgium in Exile

[Lines dedicated to one of her priests, by whose words they were prompted.]

Land of the desolate, Mother of tears,

Weeping your beauty marred and torn,

Your children tossed upon the spears,

Your altars rent, your hearths forlorn,

Where Spring has no renewing spell,

And Love no language save a long Farewell!

Ah, precious tears, and each a pearl,

Whose price -- for so in God we trust

Who saw them fall in that blind swirl

Of ravening flame and reeking dust --

The spoiler with his life shall pay,

When Justice at the last demands her Day.

O tried and proved, whose record stands

Lettered in blood too deep to fade,

Take courage! Never in our hands

Shall the avenging sword be stayed

Till you are healed of all your pain,

And come with Honour to your own again.

May 19, 1915

Notes

[Lines dedicated to one of her priests, by whose words they were prompted.]