Poem of the day

Soldiers of Freedom
by Katherine Lee Bates (1863-1929)

They veiled their souls with laughter
⁠         And many a mocking pose,
These lads who follow after
⁠         Wherever Freedom goes;
These lads we used to censure
⁠         For levity and ease
On Freedom’s high adventure
⁠         Go shining overseas.

Our springing tears adore them
⁠         These boys at school and play,
Fair-fortuned years before them,
⁠         Alas! but yesterday.
Divine with sudden splendor
⁠         —Oh how our eyes were blind!—
In careless self-surrender
⁠         They battle for mankind.

Soldiers of Freedom! Gleaming
⁠         And golden they depart,
Transfigured by the dreaming
⁠         Of boyhood’s hidden heart.
Her lovers they confess them
⁠         And, rushing on her foes,
Toss her their youth—God bless them!—
⁠         As lightly as a rose.

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