Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AMERICA AT ST. PAUL'S, by MARGARETTA BYRDE



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AMERICA AT ST. PAUL'S, by            
First Line: Destiny knocked at the door
Last Line: "and this is our war!"
Subject(s): St. Paul's Cathedral, London; World War I - United States


DESTINY knocked at the door—
"O men of the wilderness, speak!
Will you walk on the plain as of yore
Or climb to the peak?"

They replied—"Be the summit our goal,
For the Curse lieth dead at our feet;
Now free, body, spirit and soul,
Men shall see us complete!"

Came Destiny, flaming with wrath—
"Is the Curse, then, so deep in its grave?
The old world has straightened its path,
But you—you enslave."

Then they rose, hot with anger and shame;
The land was ensanguined and torn;
But out of the anguish and flame
True freedom was born.

Once again came the knock: came the call—
"Lo, the Curse is incarnate at last,
And Freedom must win or must fall!
The die has been cast.

"To her rescue, or yours is the loss,
If you bide here alone on the height,
And take not the fiery cross
And join in the fight!

"See, they suffer for what you avow:
See, they die for your watchwords, your creed!
Come down, lest your records tell how
You failed Freedom in need!"

They gazed from their peak with surprise
At the nations at grips with the foe,
That look of resolve in their eyes
Which was theirs, long ago.

With a throb of the heart for their kin,
With a grasp of the hand for their friend,
They cried: "Let us in, let us in!
We are yours to the end!

"Here stand we: naught else can we do!
Take us, all that we have, all we are!
We bide by the issue with you,
And this is our war!"





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