Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AFTER THE WAR, by FRANCOIS COPPEE



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AFTER THE WAR, by            
First Line: Spruce officer! Upon my word
Last Line: And let us shout hurrah for france.


SPRUCE officer! upon my word,
With air and elegance complete
You carry your steel-hilted sword;
But -- I muse on our late defeat.

Your regimentals have a set
Quite perfect, and no little cost;
You're altogether charming, yet
Upon the battlefield we lost.

In your black eyes with pencilled brows
We see the fire of valour waken;
Your dainty gloves the world allows,
But--our two provinces are taken.

All youths are proud of trappings gay,
And you like others were created;
Yet mark--'twas only yesterday
Our fatherland was mutilated.

Do you, young subaltern, I ask,
Finger on brow and lamp alight,
Make book and maps your worthy task,
And study far into the night?

Say, do your men their duty learn
From you? Are they your friends and care?
Fain would I think it so, and turn
From doubts, which drive me to despair.

Beats a true heart beneath your lace,
Intent on our deliverance?
Your hand, young man! if such the case,
And let us shout hurrah for France.





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