Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
 
I. Patriotism
The Turk in Armenia
William Watson (1858–1935)
 
From “The Purple East”

WHAT profits it, O England, to prevail
  In camp and mart and council, and bestrew
  With argosies thy oceans, and renew
With tribute levied on each golden gale
Thy treasuries, if thou canst hear the wail        5
  Of women martyred by the turbaned crew,
  Whose tenderest mercy was the sword that slew,
And lift no hand to wield the purging flail?
  We deemed of old thou held’st a charge from Him
  Who watches girdled by his seraphim,        10
To smite the wronger with thy destined rod.
  Wait’st thou his sign? Enough, the unanswered cry
  Of virgin souls for vengeance, and on high
The gathering blackness of the frown of God!
 
 
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