Let There Be Light!
B LACK with the blackness of hell and despair
Village and village and village lay there;
Never a candle and never a lamp--
Four hundred miles of the enemies' camp.
Trains of munitions that creak with their loads,
Supplies, horses, soldiers engulfed by the roads;
An ambulance crawling, a password, and then
Through the shell-shattered houses the marching of men.
Black with the blackness of wounds and of death
The villages huddled there holding their breath;
Black--till there rang this new order to "Cease"--
"It is over!--all over!--the war!--there is peace!
Come, dance on the ruins--Look, No Man's Land there,
"Verboten" for years, is a world's thoroughfare;
And village and village, remember the night,
But turn it to day--and let there be light.
The sorrow unburied, destruction--how much!
Four hundred long miles for the taper to touch!
The shades are undrawn, the lamps shining bright;
It is dawn in the darkness; again There Is Light!
W. D. Eaton, ed. Great Poems of the World War. Chicago: T.S. Denison & Company, 1922.