Liberty Enlightening the World


Liberty Enlightening the World (1917) was published in A Treasury of War Poetry: British and American Poems of the World War 1914-1917.
Thou warden of the western gate, above Manhattan Bay,
The fogs of doubt that hid thy face are driven clean away:
Thine eyes at last look far and clear, thou liftest high thy 
To spread the light of liberty world-wide for every land.
No more thou dreamest of a peace reserved alone for thee,
While friends are fighting for thy cause beyond the guardian
The battle that they wage is thine; thou fallest if they fall;
The swollen flood of Prussian pride will sweep unchecked 
o'er all.
O cruel is the conquer-lust in Hohenzollern brains:
The paths they plot to gain their goal are dark with 
shameful stains:
No faith they keep, no law revere, no god but naked 
They are the foemen of mankind. Up, Liberty, and smite!
Britain, and France, and Italy, and Russia newly born,
Have waited for thee in the night. Oh, come as comes
 the morn.
Serene and strong and full of faith, America, arise,
With steady hope and mighty help to join thy brave Allies.
O dearest country of my heart, home of the high desire,
Make clean thy soul for sacrifice on Freedom's altar-fire:
For thou must suffer, thou must fight, until the warlords 
And all the peoples lift their heads in liberty and peace.

Henry van Dyke
April 10, 1917


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