By Edmund Niles Huyck
Tired from the day’s dull task I steal away
At evening to a pond where willows grow
Against the taller hemlock’s dark array;
And crowning all, great sun-swept hills aglow.
A little pond where peaceful breezes blow
Catching the sunlight on its rippled face;
Where fleurs-de-lis in green and purple row
Border its margin with their stately grace.
Oh! little flower of France, can it be true
The same world shelters you in safety here,
While in yon land, afar, hell’s blasting crew
Tear you in shreds, and leave all black and sere?
In the clear shallows little fishes swim,
When suddenly, from deeper darkness glides
An armored monster, wide of jaws and slim,
Designed to kill and live, and nought besides.
Just so, the nation boasting of its might,
Forgetting beauty everywhere unfurled,
Denying all belief in common right
Reverts to brute, and tries to rule the world.