Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SOLDIERS OF FREEDOM, by KATHARINE LEE BATES

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SOLDIERS OF FREEDOM, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: They veiled their souls with laughter
Last Line: As lightly as a rose.
Subject(s): Patriotism; Wellesley College; World War I; First World War

THEY veiled their souls with laughter
And many a mocking pose,
These lads who follow after
Wherever Freedom goes;
These lads we used to censure
For levity and ease,
On Freedom's high adventure
Go shining overseas.

Our springing tears adore them,
These boys at school and play,
Fair-fortuned years before them,
Alas! but yesterday;
Divine with sudden splendor
-- Oh, how our eyes were blind! --
In careless self-surrender
They battle for mankind.

Soldiers of Freedom! Gleaming
And golden they depart,
Transfigured by the dreaming
Of boyhood's hidden heart.
Her lovers they confess them
And, rushing on her foes,
Toss her their youth -- God bless them! --
As lightly as a rose.

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