Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Fatherland
By Hermann Hagedorn
 
THERE is no sword in my hand
    Where I watch oversea.
Father’s land, mother’s land,
    What will you say of me,
Who am blood of your German blood,        5
    Through and through,
Yet would not, if I could,
    Slaughter for you?
What will you say of one
    Who has no heart        10
Even to cheer you on?
    No heavens part,
No guiding God appears
    To my strained eyes.
Athwart the fog of fears        15
    And hates and lies,
I see no goal, I mark
    No ringing message flying;
Only a brawl in the dark
    And death and the groans of the dying.        20
 
For you, your men of dreams
    And your strong men of deeds
Crumble, and die with screams,
    And under hoofs like weeds
Are trampled; for you,        25
    In city and on hill
Voices you knew
    And needed are still.
And roundabout
    Harbor and shoal        30
    The lights of your soul
Go out.
To what end, O Fatherland?
    I see your legions sweep
Like waves up the gray strand.        35
    I hear your women weep.
And the sound is as the groaning
    Swish of the ebbing wave—
A nation’s pitiful moaning
    Beside an open grave.        40
Ah, Fatherland, not all
    Who love you most,
Armed to triumph or fall,
    March with your mighty host.
Some there are yet, as I,        45
    Who stand apart,
    And with aching heart
Ponder the Whither and Why
Of the tragic story,
    Asking with bated breath,        50
Which way lies glory,
    And which way, death?
 
 
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