Mother of Nations
Does the Mother of Nations draw the sword
To rescue her children oppressed?
They have all that the richest lands afford;
They sit content at an ample board
As safe as a bird in its nest.
Has she laid her spear on the shield of Mars
New lands in the wars to gain?
Her dominions extend wherever the stars
Are blushing with shame for our foolish wars;
Her ships are on every main.
And not that the world may acclaim her grand
Is the roar of her guns on the seas;
Her name is lustred on every strand,
Her glory is known to the farthest land
Where her standard floats on the breeze.
Ah this is the pillar of cloud and fire
That leads her hosts along;
This, this is the goal of their deep desire,
The road where their feet shall never tire, --
To be just, keep faith and be strong.
So the Mother of Nations has risen in might
At the word of the onward call;
She has shaken her banners forth to the light,
And marched to the front of the people's fight
Like the van of a tidal wall.
And the future shall say of her sons who died
Wherever their feet have trod
With millions of comrades in arms allied;
"They cast the treasures of earth aside
And marched to the goals of God."
J. W. Cunliffe, ed. Poems of the Great War. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916.