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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Last Wishes
By Paul Déroulède (1846–1914)
 
From ‘Poèmes Militaires’: Translation of Thomas Walsh

A GRAVE for me—a grave—and why?
  I do not wish to sleep alone:
Let me within the trenches lie,
  Side by side with my soldiers thrown.
 
Dear old comrades of wars gone by,        5
Come, ’tis our final “halt” is nigh:
  Clasp your brave hearts to my own.
 
A sheet for me—a sheet—and why?
  Such is for them on their beds who moan:
The field is the soldier’s place to die,        10
  The field of carnage, of blood and bone.
 
Dear old comrades of wars gone by,
This is the prayer of my soul’s last sigh:
  Clasp your brave hearts to my own.
 
Tears for me—these tears—and why?        15
  Knells let the vanquished foe intone!
France delivered!—I still can cry,
  France delivered—invaders flown!
 
Dear old comrades of wars gone by,
Pain is nothing, and death—a lie!        20
  Clasp your brave hearts to my own!
 
 
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