Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
751. Europa
 
By Stephen Henry Thayer
 
 
  GREAT Sovereign of the earth and sea,
  Whose sceptre shall forever be
  The reign supreme of Liberty,
Draw thou the veil that dims our sight, light thou our eyes,
        That we may see!        5
 
  Beyond the waters, east and west,
  Six giant legions ominous rest,
  Equipped and armed from sole to crest;
The burdened nations groan and reel and listen for
        The dread behest.        10
 
  The Ottoman by the Ægean tide
  Is bonded; there the navies ride
  And train their armaments to bide
The menace from the eagle’s north, or who will dare
        The kings allied.        15
 
  The cringing Sultan can but wait
  The will of other crowns; his fate
  Is graven in the hearts that hate
And tremble at his wasting power—the curse of men—
        So weak, so great.        20
 
  His doom is written in the skies;
  His Orient Empire palsied lies,
  And still and still he crucifies
The last bare hope that yet might save, and mocks his knell,
        And still defies.        25
 
  I hear the Empires muttering now,—
  The northern Cæsar keeps his vow,
  And waits and wills both where and how
His sheathless sword shall smite at last; he waits and knits
        His iron brow.        30
 
  I see the Austrians mustering where
  The Adriatic’s waters glare,
  Or by the Danube; and they swear
Eternal vigilance against the Cossack hordes
        So sleepless there.        35
 
  The crafty Chancellor, outworn,
  Who guards the German state, in scorn
  Watches the French frontier,—his thorn;
Looks north to the Crimean gates, and eastward to
        The Golden Horn.        40
 
  Europa waits the signal, swells
  Imperial armies, still compels,
  From Britain to the Dardanelles,
Fresh millions to her warrior camps, and millions more,
        For ships and shells.        45
 
  Till on her mighty, martial field
  The greatest products she can yield
  Are armëd men and sword and shield:
Whole nations bent and strung for what? O Lord, thy thought
        Is still concealed!        50
 
  Great Sovereign of the earth and sea,
  Whose sceptre shall forever be
  The reign supreme of Liberty,
Draw thou the veil that dims our sight, light thou our eyes,
        That we may see!
CHARMIAN, 16 Feb., 1888
        55
 

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