(To her homing war sons)
by Stephan G. Stephansson
My tongue a plaint composes,
My heart compels a tear,
On greeting you exhausted
From the battle's grim career,
With broken shields and sabres
With kindred blood asmear.
A blessing high—without intent—-
Was rendered me by him,
Who first disarmed my eager sons,
Unscathed of heart and limb.
Our friendly shores, at peace with all,
No fears may since bedim.
But thrice accursed be the knaves
My errant sons beguile
To war, with blinded eyes, upon
A neighbor's domicile;
As Hoth, with tragic innocence,
Obeyed a tempter's wile.
About the graves of No-man's-land
May peace be with the slain;
And may the stains of clotted gore
Conceal the marks of Cain.
But oh, to view the human wrecks
That wander back again
Repletes a mother's pain!