Monday, May 28, 2007

Poignant Verse for Memorial Day

I was looking around for some timely verse to commemorate Memorial Day, and I think I found a good one. It's by Henry van Dyke, written during the latter days of World War I, calling America to her mantle:


Thou warden of the western gate, above Manhatten Bay,
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 brains;
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 newly born,
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 th 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.


Henry van Dyke April 10, 1917

4 comments:

Donald Douglas said...

This is a beautiful poem.

I also like the Euston Manifesto over on the right column. Are you sure you're center-left?

Burkean Reflections

Rafique Tucker said...

I'd certainly say so. The way I see it, the EM is a movement by concerned liberals and lefties committed to the fight against terror. I don't have to agree with the membership on everything.

Donald Douglas said...

Well, checking out your blogroll, I can see that you're eclectic in your blogging tastes. Still, that manifesto doesn't sound much like the values promoted by the Daily Kos crowd.

Burkean Reflections

Rafique Tucker said...

True and true.