Page:A treasury of war poetry, British and American poems of the world war, 1914-1919.djvu/96

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

96
GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA


First must the ancient die; then shall be quick
New fires within us. Brother, we shall make
Incredible discoveries and inherit
The fruits of hope, and love shall be awake.


THE FOURTH OF JULY, 1776

WHEN England's king put English to the horn,[1]
 To England thus spake England over sea,
"In peace be friend, in war my enemy";
Then countering pride with pride, and lies with scorn,
Broke with the man whose ancestor[2] had borne
 A sharper pain for no more injury.
 How otherwise should freemen deal and be,
With patience frayed and loyalty outworn?


No act of England's shone more generous gules,
 Than that which sever'd once for all the strands
 Which bound you English. You may search the lands
In vain, and vainly rummage in the schools
 To find a deed more English, or a shame
 On England with more honour to her name.


THE NEW WORLD

To the People of the United States

NOW is the time of the splendour of Youth and Death.
The spirit of man grows grander than men knew.
The unbearable burden is borne, the impossible done;
Though harder is yet to do
Before this agony end, and that be won
We seek through blinding battle, in choking breath,—
The New World, seen in vision! Land of lands,
In the midst of storms that desolate and divide,
In the hour of the breaking heart, O far-descried,
You build our courage, you hold up our hands.


  1. To "put to the horn" was to declare an outlawry.
  2. Charles the First.