Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SOLILOQUY; NOVEMBER 11, 1928, by N. R. A. BECKER

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SOLILOQUY; NOVEMBER 11, 1928, by            
First Line: Ten years! Can that be all
Last Line: "ten years? Can that be all?"
Subject(s): Peace; Veterans Day; War; World War I; First World War

Ten years! Can that be all
Since Peace returned to spread her tattered wings
Above a soul-sick world?
Since armies ceased their vast maneuverings
And battle flags were furled?

Ten years! Can that be all
Since that transplanted hell of northern France
Drew tranquil breath again?
Since nations signed their pledge of continence
Quitting sword for mightier pen?

Ten million men threw down their arms that day!
Ten times ten million sought their knees to pray:
"O God above, defend this peace
"And of Thy mercy send
"That man shall not again release
"His hate till time shall end!"

Ten years! And on this day of days I see,
Behind white walls, wan faces—haggard, drawn—
And shattered bodies; eyes that seek the dawn
Of some longed-for to-morrow that shall free
Them from the scourge that war has laid
Upon their lives. For us, and for this peace
We hymn, they gave their all, and time shall cease
Before our debt to them can be repaid!

Ten years!
I hear one cry:
"How time slips by!"
But what can that one know
Of how time drags—how slow
The days, the weeks, the months, the years
Within those walls—how, till he hears
That pensive, plaintless call:
"Ten years? Can that be all?"

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