From The Times Dispatch, August 9, 1914. By H. W.
“What,” one asks, “of the trumpet blast
And banners in the dawn?
And what of the grain in the fallow field
When the husbandman has gone?”
This: If ye know not how to wield
The sword with a steady hand
The grain that stood in your broad, green field
Shall be reaped by an alien band.
This: If ye be not strong to fight
And ready to shield and save,
The woman and child shall starve and die,
Or live as the foeman’s slave.
Shelter and food and wife and child—
Since ever the world began—
The strong shall win and the strong shall keep
So long as man is man.
The weapons ye use are greater far
Than those the cave-man bore;
The battle line is farther flung
Than it was in the time before.
But the things ye strive for have not changed,
Nor shall they change at all,
And the strong shall win and the strong shall keep,
And the weak shall surely fall.
Justice and pity, and mercy? Yes.
But they die without the sword.
For wrong is weak and fails in the end,
But it does not yield to a — word!
And life and love, and the right to live—
Since ever the world began,
They have gone to the clean and true and strong,
And shall—while man is man!