Page:A treasury of war poetry, British and American poems of the world war, 1914-1919.djvu/64

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Then red in the reek of that evil cloud,
The Hun swept over the plain;
And the murderer's dirk did its monster work,
'Mid the scythe-like shrapnel rain;

Till it seemed that at last the brute Hun hordes
Had broken that wall of steel;
And that soon, through this breach in the freeman's dyke,
His trampling hosts would wheel,

And sweep to the south in ravaging might,
And Europe's peoples again
Be trodden under the tyrant's heel,
Like herds, in the Prussian pen.

But in that line on the British right,
There massed a corps amain,
Of men who hailed from a far west land
Of mountain and forest and plain;

Men new to war and its dreadest deeds,
But noble and staunch and true;
Men of the open, East and West,
Brew of old Britain's brew.

These were the men out there that night,
When Hell loomed close ahead;
Who saw that pitiful, hideous rout,
And breathed those gasses dread;
While some went under and some went mad;
But never a man there fled.

For the word was "Canada," theirs to fight,
And keep on fighting still;
Britain said fight, and fight they would,
Though the Devil himself in sulphurous mood
Came over that hideous hill.