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The Peace Pact

From the Grand Forks Daily Herald, October 24, 1914. By Edith M. Thomas.

They were foes as they fell in that frontier fight,
    They were friends as they lay with their wounds unbound,
Waiting the dawn of their last morning light.
    It was silence all, save a shuddering sound
    From the souls of the dying that rose around;
And the heart of the one to the other cried,
    As closer they drew, and their arms enwound,
“There will be no war on the Other Side.”

As the souls of the dying mounted high
    It seemed they could hear the long farewell!
Then together they spake, and they questioned why—
    Since they hated not—why this evil befell
    And neither the Frank nor the German could tell
Wherefore themselves and their countrymen died.
    But they said that hereafter in peace they should dwell—
“There will be no war on the Other Side.”

As they languished there on that field accursed,
    With their wounds unbound, in their mortal pain,
Spake one to the other, “I faint from thirst!”
    And the other made answer, “What drops remain
    In my water flask thou shalt surely drain!”
As he lifted the flask the other replied,
    “I pledge thee in this till we meet again—
There will be no war on the Other Side!”

And it came to pass as the night wore deep
    That fever through all their veins was fanned,
So that visions were theirs (yet not from sleep)
    And each was flown to his own loved land.
    But rousing again, one murmured, “Thy hand!
Thou art my brother—naught shall divide;
    Something went wrong, but understand,
There will be no war on the Other Side.”

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