Friday, September 23, 2016

FOR FRANCE, a poem

SHE had been stricken, sorely, ere this came;
     And now they wrote that he, her boy, was dead—
     Her only one! Through blinding tears she read,
Trying to see what followed his dear name.
     He had died "gloriously," the letter said,
"Guarding the Tricolor from touch of shame
Where raged the battle furious and wild."
     Catching her breath, she stayed despair’s advance.
She was a mother; but, besides—a child
                      Of France!

And after, though remembrance of past years
     Dulled not to her fond vision nor grew dim;
     Though every slightest incident of him
Was treasured in her breast, she shed no tears.
     Her cup was full now, even to the brim,
And for herself she knew nor hopes nor fears.
So, toiling patiently, with noble pride
     And lifted head she met each pitying glance,
She was the mother of a son who died—
                     For France!
"For France" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Patriotic Pieces from the Great War (1918).

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