Richard Le Gallienne

(1866-1947 / England)

The World's Musqueteer: To Marshal Foch - Poem by Richard Le Gallienne

(_Ballade a double refrain_)

Marshal of France, yet still the Musqueteer,
Comrade at arms, on your bronzed cheek we press
The soldier's kiss, and drop the soldier's tear;
Brother by brother fought we in the stress
Of the locked steel, all the wild work that fell
For our reluctant doing; we that stormed hell
And smote it down together, in the sun
Stand here once more, with all our fighting done,
Garlands upon our helmets, sword and lance
Quiet with laurel, sharing the peace they won:
Soldier that saved the world in saving France.

Soldier that saved the world in saving France,
France that was Europe's dawn when light was none,
Clear eyes that with eternal vigilance
Pierce through the webs in nether darkness spun,
Soul of man's soul, his sentinel upon
The ramparts of the world: Ah! France, 'twas well
This soldier with the sword of Gabriel
Was yours and ours in all that dire duresse,
This soldier, gentle as a child, that here
Stands shy and smiling 'mid a world's caress--
Marshal of France, yet still the Musqueteer.

Marshal of France, yet still the Musqueteer,
True knight and succourer of the world's distress
His might and skill we laurel, but more dear
Our soldier for that 'parfit gentlenesse'
That ever in heroic hearts doth dwell,
That soul as tranquil as a vesper bell,
That glory in him that would glory shun,
Those kindly eyes alive with Gascon fun,
D'Artagnan's brother--still the old romance
Runs in the blood, thank God! and still shall run:
Soldier that saved the world in saving France.


ENVOI

Soldier that saved the world in saving France,
Foch, to America's deep heart how near;
Betwixt us twain shall never come mischance.
Warrior that fought that war might disappear,
Far and for ever far the unborn year
That turns the ploughshare back into the spear--
But, must it come, then Foch shall lead the dance:
Marshal of France, yet still the Musqueteer.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010



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