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Katharine Lee Bates

(1859-1929 / United States)

Children Of The War


SHRUNKEN little bodies, pallid baby faces,
Eyes of staring terror, innocence defiled,
Tiny bones that strew the sand of silent places,
— This upon our own star where Jesus was a child.
Broken buds of April, is there any garden
Where they yet may blossom, comforted of sun,
While their sad Creator bows to ask their pardon
For the life He gave them, life and death in one?
Spared by steel and hunger, still shall horror blazon
Those white and tender spirits with anguish unforgot;
Half a century hence the haggard look shall gaze on
The outrage of a mother, shall see a grandsire shot.
Man who wings the azure, lassoes the hoof sparkling,
Fire-maned steeds of glory and binds them to his car,
Cannot man whose searchlight leaves no horizon darkling
Safeguard little children upon our golden star?

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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