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The Red Cross Nurse

From The Washington Herald, December 11, 1913. By Emma Frances Lee Smith.

I have turned aside from the world and its pride
    The strength of my love to prove;
I have set my pace to a wonderful race,
    With feet that are swift to move—
Be it soon or late—to serve, or to wait—
    At the cry of the terrified.

Through flood and flame, in the Master’s name,
    Comfort and help I bring;
My mission blest is to offer rest
    And peace, to the suffering;
I give no heed to rank or to creed;
    I look not askance at shame.

On the wreck-strewn trail of the howling gale,
    I hasten with warmth and cheer;
O’er the shrouded head of the mangled dead,
    I bend with a pitying tear;
To famine’s white lip my cup I slip;
    I quiet the mourner’s wail.

In the wake of the knell of hurtling shell,
    The clangor of crashing steel,
My watch I keep where the wounded sleep,
    And the dead lie heel to heel;
I speed the soul to its happy goal—
    A tireless sentinel.

From East to West on my merciful quest,
    I follow the Red Cross far;
Under Southern skies I have seen it rise;
    It glows ‘neath the Northern star;
Its crimson sign is a badge divine,
    Mid the panoply of war.

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