Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
Cambrai and Marne
Before our trenches at Cambrai
We saw their columns cringe away.
We saw their masses melt and reel
Before our line of leaping steel.
A handful to their storming hordes,
We scourged them with the scourge of swords,
And still, the more we slew, the more
Came up for every slain a score.
Between the hedges and the town
The cursing squadrons we rode down;
To stay them we outpoured our blood
Between the beetfields and the wood.
In that red hell of shrieking shell
Unfaltering our gunners fell;
They fell, or ere that day was done,
Beside the last unshattered gun.
But still we held them, like a wall
On which the breakers vainly fall–
Till came the word, and we obeyed,
Reluctant, bleeding, undismayed.
Our feet, astonished, learned retreat;
Our souls rejected still defeat;
Unbroken still, a lion at bay,
We drew back grimly from Cambrai.
In blood and sweat, with slaughter spent,
They thought us beaten as we went,
Till suddenly we turned, and smote
The shout of triumph in their throat.
At last, at last we turned and stood–
And Marne's fair water ran with blood;
We stood by trench and steel and gun,
For now the indignant flight was done.
We ploughed their shaken ranks with fire,
We trod their masses into mire;
Our sabres drove through their retreat
As drives the whirlwind through young wheat.
At last, at last we drove them back
Along their drenched and smoking track;
We hurled them back, in blood and flame,
The reeking ways by which they came.
By cumbered road and desperate ford
How fled their shamed and harassed horde!
Shout, Sons of Freemen, for the day
When Marne so well avenged Cambrai!
Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Cambrai and Marne by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- A Life-Lesson, James Whitcomb Riley
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
Poem of the Day
- Where once you stood, Edward Clapham
- Thou hast dove eyes, thou hast dove eyes., devon da poet
- Habits, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- CAN'T GET THERE., Terry Collett
- Blurred vision., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
- One Hundred and Eleven Cranks, Mitchell Gonzalez
- Want Versus Need..., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
- Why we quarrel., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
- Death in action., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
- The River! The River!, Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR