Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, I PAY MY DEBT FOR LAFAYETTE AND ROCHAMBEAU', by EDGAR LEE MASTERS



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I PAY MY DEBT FOR LAFAYETTE AND ROCHAMBEAU', by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Eagle, whose fearless
Last Line: Love frees the world!...
Subject(s): France; Freedom; Rockwell, Kiffin Yates (1892-1916); World War I; Liberty; First World War


-- His Own Words

IN MEMORY OF KIFFIN ROCKWELL

Eagle, whose fearless
Flight in vast spaces
Clove the inane,
While we stood tearless,
White with rapt faces
In wonder and pain....

Heights could not awe you,
Depths could not stay you.
Anguished we saw you,
Saw Death way-lay you
Where the storm flings
Black clouds to thicken
Round France's defender!
Archangel stricken
From ramparts of splendor --
Shattered your wings!...

But Lafayette called you,
Rochambeau beckoned.
Duty enthralled you.
For France you had reckoned
Her gift and your debt.
Dull hearts could harden
Half-gods could palter.
For you never pardon
If Liberty's altar
You chanced to forget....

Stricken archangel!
Ramparts of splendor
Keep you, evangel
Of souls who surrender
No banner unfurled
For ties ever living,
Where Freedom has bound them.
Praise and thanksgiving
For love which has crowned them --
Love frees the world!...





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