Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FIVE SOULS, by WILLIAM NORMAN EWER



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FIVE SOULS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I was a peasant of the polish plain
Last Line: For those who bade me fight had told me so.
Alternate Author Name(s): Ewer, W. N.
Subject(s): Holidays; Veterans Day; World War I; First World War


FIRST SOUL

I was a peasant of the Polish plain;
I left my plough because the message ran—
Russia, in danger, needed every man
To save her from the Teuton; and was slain.
I gave my life for freedom—this I know:
For those who bade me fight had told me so.

SECOND SOUL

I was a Tyrolese, a mountaineer:
I gladly left my mountain home to fight
Against the brutal, treacherous Muscovite;
And died in Poland on a Cossack spear.
I gave my life for freedom—this I know:
For those who bade me fight had told me so.

THIRD SOUL

I worked in Lyons at my weaver's loom,
When suddenly the Prussian despot hurled
His felon blow at France and at the world;
Then I went forth to Belgium and my doom.
I gave my life for freedom—this I know:
For those who bade me fight had told me so.

FOURTH SOUL

I owned a vineyard by the wooded Main,
Until the Fatherland begirt by foes
Lusting her downfall, called me, and I rose
Swift to the call—and died in fair Lorraine.
I gave my life for freedom—this I know:
For those who bade me fight had told me so.

FIFTH SOUL

I worked in a great shipyard by the Clyde:
There came a sudden word of wars declared,
Of Belgium peaceful, helpless, unprepared,
Asking our aid: I joined the ranks and died.
I gave my life for freedom—this I know:
For those who bade me fight had told me so.





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