To Our Women


To Our Women was adapted by Burr from the French of Paul Déroulède. It was published in Fifes and Drums: Poems of America at War (1917).
Woman, if the man to whom your heart you give
Gives you all his heart, to you alone is true—
If, American, a stranger he can live
To America, his only country You—
If without despising himself and you alike
He hears his duty call and lifts no hand to strike—
Woman, your clinging hands have bent his soul awry.
You knew not how to love him if he knows not how to die.

Mother, if your boy grows man in years alone,
Loving self so well, he has no heart to hear
The voice of higher hopes, if he has never known
The steadfast will that faces and overpowers fear,
If in the perilous hour of Freedom's mortal fight
He fails to dare his all for God and for the right—
Mother, your love has crippled the soul it strove to shield.
You knew not how to give the life he knows not how to yield.

Visit our collection of World War I Literature for more poetry, short stories, and novels by authors who were there.


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