Friday, July 15, 2005

Six Souls

SIX SOULS
W. K. Enwer - 1917

I was a peasant of the Polish plain.
I left my plow because the message ran,
Russia in danger needed every man
To save her from the Teuton.
I was slain. I gave my life for freedom--this I know
For those who bade me fight had told me so.

I was a Tyrolese, a mountaineer;
I gladly left my mountain home to fight
Against the brutal, treacherous Muscovite;
And died in Poland on a Cossack spear.
I gave my life for freedom--this I know
For those who bade me fight had told me so.

I worked in Lyons at my weaver's loom
When suddenly the Prussian despot hurled
His felon blow at France and at the world;
Then I went forth to Belgium and my doom.
I gave my life for freedom--this I know
For those who bade me fight had told me so.

I owned a vinyard by the wooded Main
Until the Fatherland, beset by foes
Lusting her downfall called me, and I rose
Swift to the call, and died in fair Lorraine.
I gave my life for freedom--this I know
For those who bade me fight had told me so.

I worked in a great shipyard on the Clyde;
There came a sudden word of war declared,
Of Belgium peaceful, helpless, unprepared
Asking our aid. I joined the ranks and died.
I gave my life for freedom--this I know
For those who bade me fight had told me so.

I worked upon a farm in Illinois.
The squad appeared; with them I marched away.
Somewhere in France, amid the trenches gray
I met grim death with many other boys.
I gave my life for freedom--this I know
For those who bade me fight had told me so.

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