Verse > Anthologies > George Herbert Clarke, ed. > A Treasury of War Poetry
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George Herbert Clarke, ed. (1873–1953).  A Treasury of War Poetry.  1917.
 
1. The Choice
 
By Rudyard Kipling
 
 
      THE AMERICAN SPIRIT SPEAKS:
TO the Judge of Right and Wrong
  With Whom fulfillment lies
Our purpose and our power belong,
  Our faith and sacrifice.
 
Let Freedom’s land rejoice!        5
  Our ancient bonds are riven;
Once more to us the eternal choice
  Of good or ill is given.
 
Not at a little cost,
  Hardly by prayer or tears,        10
Shall we recover the road we lost
  In the drugged and doubting years.
 
But after the fires and the wrath,
  But after searching and pain,
His Mercy opens us a path        15
  To live with ourselves again.
 
In the Gates of Death rejoice!
  We see and hold the good—
Bear witness, Earth, we have made our choice
  For Freedom’s brotherhood.        20
 
Then praise the Lord Most High
  Whose Strength hath saved us whole,
Who bade us choose that the Flesh should die
  And not the living Soul!
 

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