(for Aline) Because the road was steep and long And through a dark and lonely land, God set upon my lips a song And put a lantern in my hand. Through miles on weary miles of night That stretch relentless in my way My lantern burns serene and white, An unexhausted cup of day. O golden lights and lights like wine, How dim your boasted splendors are. Behold this little lamp of mind: It is more starlike than a star!
Joyce Kilmer - 1886-1918
Upon his will he binds a radiant chain, For Freedom’s sake he is no longer free. It is his task, the slave of Liberty, With his own blood to wipe away a stain. That pain may cease, he yields his flesh to pain. To banish war, he must a warrior be. He dwells in Night, eternal Dawn to see, And gladly dies, abundant life to gain. What matters Death, if Freedom be not dead? No flags are fair, if Freedom’s flag be furled. Who fights for Freedom, goes with joyful tread To meet the fires of Hell against him hurled, And has for captain Him whose thorn-wreathed head Smiles from the Cross upon a conquered world.