HE seemed to call me, and I shrank dismayed,"Combatants" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Century Magazine (November 1893), Poems (1898) and Poems (1916) Volume I.
Deeming he threatened all I held most dear;
But when at last his summons I obeyed,
Perplexed and full of fear,
I found upon his face no angry frown,—
Only a visor down.
Indignant that his voice, so calm and sweet,
In my despite, unto my soul appealed,
I cried, "If thou hast courage, turn and meet
A foeman full revealed!"
And with determined zeal that made me strong,
Contended with him long.
But oh, the armor he so meekly bore
Was wrought for him in other worlds than ours!
In firm defense of what he battled for,
Were leagued eternal powers!
I fell; yet overwhelmed by my disgrace,
At last I saw his face.
And in its matchless beauty I forgot
The constant service to my pledges due,
And, with adoring love that sorrowed not,
Entreated, "Tell me who
Hath so o'erthrown my will and pride of youth!"
He answered, "I am Truth."