Across a world where all men grieve
And grieving strive the more,
The great days range like tides and leave
Our dead on every shore.
Heavy the load we undergo,
And our own hands prepare,
If we have parley with the foe,
The load our sons must bear.Before we loose the wordThat bids new worlds to birth,Needs must we loosen first the swordOf Justice upon earth;Or else all else is vainSince life on earth began,And the spent world sinks back againHopeless of God and Man.A People and their KingThrough ancient sin grown strong,Because they feared no reckoningWould set no bound to wrong;But now their hour is past,And we who bore it findEvil Incarnate held at lastTo answer to mankind.For agony and spoilOf nations beat to dust,For poisoned air and tortured soilAnd cold, commanded lust,And every secret woeThe shuddering waters saw—Willed and fulfilled by high and low—Let them relearn the Law:That when the dooms are read,Not high nor low shall say:—“My haughty or my humble headHas saved me in this day.”That, till the end of time,Their remnant shall recallTheir fathers’ old, confederate crimeAvailed them not at all:That neither schools nor priests,Nor Kings may build againA people with the heart of beastsMade wise concerning men.Whereby our dead shall sleepIn honour, unbetrayed,And we in faith and honour keepThat peace for which they paid.
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