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George Herbert Clarke, ed. (1873–1953). A Treasury of War Poetry. 1917.

Robert Grant

The Superman

THE HORROR-HAUNTED Belgian plains riven by shot and shell

Are strewn with her undaunted sons who stayed the jaws of hell.

In every sunny vale of France death is the countersign.

The purest blood in Britain’s veins is being poured like wine.

Far, far across the crimsoned map the impassioned armies sweep.

Destruction flashes down the sky and penetrates the deep.

The Dreadnought knows the silent dread, and seas incarnadine

Attest the carnival of strife, the madman’s battle scene.

Relentless, savage, hot, and grim the infuriate columns press

Where terror simulates disdain and danger is largess,

Where greedy youth claims death for bride and agony seems bliss.

It is the cause, the cause, my soul! which sanctifies all this.

Ride, Cossacks, ride! Charge, Turcos, charge! The fateful hour has come.

Let all the guns of Britain roar or be forever dumb.

The Superman has burst his bonds. With Kultur-flag unfurled

And prayer on lip he runs amuck, imperilling the world.”

The impious creed that might is right in him personified

Bids all creation bend before the insatiate Teuton pride,

Which, nourished on Valhalla dreams of empire unconfined,

Would make the cannon and the sword the despots of mankind.

Efficient, thorough, strong, and brave—his vision is to kill.

Force is the hearthstone of his might, the pole-star of his will.

His forges glow malevolent: their minions never tire

To deck the goddess of his lust whose twins are blood and fire.

O world grown sick with butchery and manifold distress!

O broken Belgium robbed of all save grief and ghastliness!

Should Prussian power enslave the world and arrogance prevail,

Let chaos come, let Moloch rule, and Christ give place to Baal.