Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE VICTOR OF THE MARNE (INSCRIBED TO JOSEPH JACQUES CESAIRE JOFFRE), by ROBERT UNDERWOOD JOHNSON



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THE VICTOR OF THE MARNE (INSCRIBED TO JOSEPH JACQUES CESAIRE JOFFRE), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Come, may, thou darling of the year
Last Line: In spite of frontiers and of flags the world shall be as one.
Subject(s): Joffre, Joseph Jacques (1852-1931); World War I; First World War


COME, May, thou darling of the year,
In every land adored,
Bring us a draught of Nature's cheer
In brimming chalice poured;
Lift high our welcome, while with flowers we wreathe a stainless sword.

Give us the spirit's wine to pledge
To him, the soul of France,
Who stood before disaster's edge,
Master of circumstance,
And faced, unfaltering, and won that hour's portentous chance.

Grant us a halcyon day of blue,
With light and life aflame,
That, like the Spring, we may renew
The laurels of his fame,
Since now to think of Liberty is but to breathe his name.

Adown the bright and fluttering street
Let serried thousands throng,
And children march with eager feet
In phalanxes of song,
That Memory to their latest heirs his glorious deed prolong.

If, for a breath, we crave relief
From War's transcendent woe,
Not less for France's noble grief
Our kindred tears shall flow.
We keep for timelier days the dirge our hearts too keenly know.

Now, our thanksgiving to the Lord, --
Who, through the ages' round,
Doth choose the humble for his sword
The mighty to confound, --
That still the doom of Jericho the horns of Israel sound.

Thanks for the soul that on the field
Of lasting good or ill
Gave to the land that would not yield
His wisdom and his will,
Till Fate, confirming man's resolve, once more was Freedom's shield.

And thanks of solemn joy be made
For those of every sky,
Who, building up our barricade,
Our bitter cup put by,
Till at their side we now have earned the privilege to die.

Rejoice that, deaf to every lure,
At last we gladly stand
With those who make the Right secure,
Comrades in heart and hand,
Like them, Crusaders, sworn to save the greater Holy Land.

Graves of the Marne! Oh, not in vain
Your broadcast seed was sown:
Already nations love as men:
Through you, forgot or known,
In spite of frontiers and of flags the world shall be as one.





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