Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume II/Le Grand Salut
LE GRAND SALUT
"Major Dreyfus, in the name of the Republic and of the people of France, I proclaim you a knight of the Legion of Honour."
THERE is a power in innocence, a might
Which, clothed in weakness, makes injustice vain:
A strength, o'ertopping reason to explain,
Which bears it—though deep-buried out of sight—
Slowly and surely upward to the light:
A conscious certainty amidst its pain
That, robbed of all things, it shall all regain,
Through that eternal law which guards the right.
O Dreyfus! Thy dear country has restored
More than thine honour in her hour supreme.
Noble indeed, though able so to err,
God spared thee to her that she might redeem
Herself, and hand thee back thy blameless sword.
Listen! the world salutes—not only thee, but her!