Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE SPIRIT OF LUTHER, by ROBERT UNDERWOOD JOHNSON



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TO THE SPIRIT OF LUTHER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Luther, come back to thy degenerate land
Last Line: Brutes breed them bodies: who shall breed them souls?
Subject(s): Germany; Luther, Martin (1483-1546); World War I; Germans; First World War


ON LEARNING OF THE REPORTED APPEAL OF GERMANY TO MATRONS AND MAIDENSTO GIVE THEMSELVES "OFFICIALLY"
TO THE PROPAGATION OF THE RACE, UNDER IMMUNITY FROM THE LAW

LUTHER, come back to thy degenerate land,
And see, as one who learned to love it sees,
How it is sunk in crimes and cruelties,
Lured by false glory to the soul's quicksand.
The thunder Wittenberg could not withstand --
Can it be silent when all honor flees
And State, not Church, tempts with indulgences?
Is there no lightning in the thunder's hand?

What though they sing thy hymn who follow goals
Of empire, futile numbers, godless power?
Rescue thy people in the basest hour
That ever Time has written on her scrolls.
Let the mad miscreants at thine anger cower!
Brutes breed them bodies: who shall breed them souls?





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