At Dawn in France
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At Dawn in France

Night on the plains, and the stars unfold
The cycle of night in splendour old;
The winds are hushed, on the fire-swept hill
All is silent, shadowy, still-
Silent, yet tense as a harp high-strung
By a master hand for deeds unsung.
Slowly across the shadowy night
Tremble the shimmering wings of light,
And men with vigil in their eyes
And a fever light that never dies-
Men from the city, hamlet, town,
Once white faces tanned to brown,-
Stand to the watch of the parapet
And watch, with rifles, bayonets set,
For the great uknown that comes to men
Swift as the light: sudden, then--

Dawn! the light from its shimmering wings
Lights up their faces with strange, strange things:
Strange thoughts of love, of death and life,
Serenity 'mid sanguine strife:--
Deams of life where the feet of youth
Rush to the pinnacles of Truth;
Where early dreams with pinions fleet
Rush to find a love complete;
Of Love and Youth 'neath rosy bowers
Sensuous, mad with the wine-filled hours,
Flushed with hope and joy's delight,
Weaving rapture from the night:—



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