Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NOBLESSE OBLIGE, by ROBERT UNDERWOOD JOHNSON



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NOBLESSE OBLIGE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: What is diviner than the peace of foes!
Last Line: Before the human fail you -- quick! Your hand!


WHAT is diviner than the peace of foes!
He conquers not who does not conquer hate,
Or thinks the shining wheels of heaven wait
On his forgiving. Dimmer the laurel shows
On brows that darken; and war-won repose
Is but a truce when heroes abdicate
To Huns -- unfabling those of elder date
Whose every corse a fiercer warrior rose.

O ye that saved the land! Ah yes, and ye
That mourned its saving! Neither need forget
The price our destiny did of both demand --
Toil, want, wounds, prison, and the lonely sea
Of tears at home. Oh, look on these. And yet --
Before the human fail you -- quick! your hand!





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