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.
 
18. The Name of France
 
By Henry van Dyke
 
 
GIVE us a name to fill the mind
With the shining thoughts that lead mankind,
The glory of learning, the joy of art,—
A name that tells of a splendid part
In the long, long toil and the strenuous fight        5
Of the human race to win its way
From the feudal darkness into the day
Of Freedom, Brotherhood, Equal Right,—
A name like a star, a name of light.
          I give you France!        10
 
Give us a name to stir the blood
With a warmer glow and a swifter flood,—
A name like the sound of a trumpet, clear,
And silver-sweet, and iron-strong,
That calls three million men to their feet,        15
Ready to march, and steady to meet
The foes who threaten that name with wrong,—
A name that rings like a battle-song.
          I give you France!
 
Give us a name to move the heart        20
With the strength that noble griefs impart,
A name that speaks of the blood outpoured
To save mankind from the sway of the sword,—
A name that calls on the world to share
In the burden of sacrificial strife        25
Where the cause at stake is the world’s free life
And the rule of the people everywhere,—
A name like a vow, a name like a prayer.
          I give you France!
 

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