Germany in Belgium

By George Sterling


Mankind had dreamed its paltry dream of Hell,
    And Satan gloating on a race undone.
    Then through our mist of visions drave the Hun,
And on the world a blacker shadow fell
So shall the fact deride, the truth dispel,
    The flimsy web that childish minds have spun,
    Till Horror bare her shambles to the sun,
And that be told we whisper as we tell.

God, when we pictured Hell, You must have smiled.
Look down and see: abomination piled
    Upon abomination! Flood on flood
        Of tears outwrung from innocence and age!
        What spite of fiends is in the Teuton rage!
What venoms of the Pit are in their blood!


One after one the veils are torn aside,
    Till now we see, as from a sunlit place,
    That this is Hell we fight, and not a race.
Lo! these are they that in their lust and pride
Purpose to be our human light and guide!
    But these are they for whom Man's humbled face
    Is blackened before Heaven with disgrace,
And with their blazon of dishonor dyed.

Say not we are blood-brothers to this Thing
    That slays for very cruelty and spite,
        Heaping with babes his altar unto Mars!—
This Birth for which polluted Earth might swing
    With errant orbit into utter night,
        And hide her visage from the sickened stars.

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