A treasury of war poetry, British and American poems of the world war, 1914-1919/Serbia, Greece, and Roumania
SERBIA, GREECE AND ROUMANIA
AUTUMN EVENING IN SERBIA
ALL the thin shadows
Have closed on the grass,
With the drone on their dark wings
The night beetles pass.
Folded her eyelids,
A maiden asleep,
Day sees in her chamber
The pallid moon peep.
From the bend of the briar
The roses are torn,
And the folds of the wood tops
Are faded and worn.
A strange bird is singing
Sweet notes of the sun,
Tho' song time is over
And Autumn begun.
WHEN the heroic deeds that mark our time
Shall, in far days to come, recorded be,
Men, much forgetting, shall remember thee,
Thou central martyr of the Monster-Crime,
Who kept thy soul clear of the ooze and slime—
The quicksands of deceit and perjury—
A living thing, unconquered still and free,
Through superhuman sacrifice sublime.
O Serbia! amid thy ruins great,
Love is immortal; there's an end to hate,
Always there will be dawn, though dark the night.
Look up, thou tragic Glory! Even now,
The thorny round that binds thy bleeding brow
Is as a crown irradiating light!
THE HOMECOMING OF THE SHEEP
THE sheep are coming home in Greece,
Hark the bells on every hill!
Flock by flock, and fleece by fleece,
Wandering wide a little piece
Thro' the evening red and still,
Stopping where the pathways cease,
Cropping with a hurried will.
Thro' the cotton-bushes low
Merry boys with shouldered crooks
Close them in a single row,
Shout among them as they go
With one bell-ring o'er the brooks.
Such delight you never know
Reading it from gilded books.
Before the early stars are bright
Cormorants and sea-gulls call,
And the moon comes large and white
Filling with a lovely light
The ferny curtained waterfall.
Then sleep wraps every bell up tight
And the climbing moon grows small
ANOTHER land has crashed into the deep,
The heir and namesake of that Rome, whose laws
Spread the great peace.—Grey Power, that yet o'erawes
The thoughts of men, first to bid nations keep
The bounds of right, and earth's wild borders steep,
O, from thy pinnacle 'mid time's applause
Salute, great Rome, the victim of man's cause,
Thy child, Roumania!—Nay, not ours to weep.
O Latin Race! how doth our debt increase
At every flash of thy unfathomed soul,
Long on the rock of justice founding peace,
While ever round thee new-born ages roll!
Genius divine! when shall thy glory cease!
Rise, rise, Roumania! yet thy soul is whole!