Page:A treasury of war poetry, British and American poems of the world war, 1914-1919.djvu/76

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76
BELGIUM

A FLEMISH VILLAGE

GONE is the spire that slept for centuries,
Whose image in the water, calm, and low
Was mingled with the lilies green and snow,
And lost itself in river mysteries.
The church lies broken near the fallen spire;
For here, among these old and human things,
Death swept along the street with feet of fire,
And went upon his way with moaning wings.
Above the cluster of these homes forlorn,
Where giant fleeces of the shells are rolled,
O'er pavements by the kneeling herdsmen worn,
The wounded saints look out to see their fold.


And silence follows fast, no evening peace,
But leaden stillness, when the thunder wanes,
Haunting the slender branches of the trees,
And settling low upon the listless plains.


TO BELGIUM IN EXILE

[Lines dedicated to one of her priests, by whose words they were prompted.]
[Reprinted by permission of the Proprietors of Punch.]

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.