Posts tagged ‘i kneel behind the soldier’s trench’

Monday, 8 November 2021

The Red Cross Spirit by John Huston Finley

“I kneel behind the soldier’s trench,
I walk ‘mid shambles’ smear and stench,
The dead I mourn;
I bear the stretcher and I bend
O’er Fritz and Pierre and Jack to mend
What shells have torn.

“I go wherever men may dare,
I go wherever woman’s care
And love can live;
Wherever strength and skill can bring
Surcease to human suffering,
Or solace give.

“I am your pennies and your pounds;
I am your bodies on their rounds
Of pain afar;
I am you, doing what you would
If you were only where you could—
Your avatar.

“The cross which on my arm I wear,
The flag which o’er my breast I bear,
Is but the sign
Of what you’d sacrifice for him
Who suffers on the hellish rim
Of war’s red line.”

From: Finley, John H., ‘The Red Cross Spirit’ in The Journal of Education, Volume 86, Number 9 (2145), 13 September 1917, p. 229.
(https://www.jstor.org/stable/42829093)

Date: 1917

By: John Huston Finley (1863-1940)