SEPTEMBER 9TH, 1899.
SHE stands convicted by the public voice—.
Her friends desert her and her foes rejoice- Scorn'd by the nations ! This is France; who still In ancient days through good report and ill Lack'd not some touch of greatness : now, ah now, Sunk daily deeper in her self-made slough, Shrinks from no meanness infinitely base, Parades deceit and glories in disgrace!
Her armies' ranks, once trembling Europe's dread, Are manned by cravens and by caitiffs led : Warriors were once her Generals : to-day Tricksters who scheme the innocent to slay : Steal and suborn in Justice's outraged name, And prate of Honour when their acts are shame : Their plots detected and their frauds avowed Win the base plaudits of a yelling crowd, While priests of God their vileness sanctify, And call them Christians when they forge and lie.
Truth hides her head, and crimes unpunished go : Yea—and the people love to have it so.
What will ye do when comes the end thereof ?
Above Courts-Martial and their dooms above Stands the Tribunal of insulted Right, Strong to abide, relentless to requite!
When vengeance smites her, and her towns afar
Blaze in the fire of fratricidal war,—
Taught by the anguish of an ordeal stern To know her guides and false from true discern, May France arise, purged as by cleansing flames, Another nation, arm'd for nobler aims, Check the lewd tongue, and curb the unchastened pen, And blot from history's page the memory of Rennes.