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

George Herbert Clarke

The Virgin of Albert

Notre Dame de Brebières

SHYLY expectant, gazing up at Her,

They linger, Gaul and Briton, side by side:

Death they know well, for daily have they died,

Spending their boyhood ever bravelier;

They wait: here is no priest or chorister,

Birds skirt the stricken tower, terrified;

Desolate, empty, is the Eastertide,

Yet still they wait, watching the Babe and Her.

Broken, the Mother stoops: the brutish foe

Hurled with dull hate his bolts, and down She swayed,

Down, till She saw the toiling swarms below,—

Platoons, guns, transports, endlessly arrayed:

“Women are woe for them! let Me be theirs,

And comfort them, and hearken all their prayers!”