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A poem by Abner Cosens


Title:     Afterwards
Author: Abner Cosens [More Titles by Cosens]

When the war shall have ceased with its sorrow,
Its hunger, and horror, and hell,
In the dawn of a brighter to-morrow,
What tale will historians tell?
Will the nations get records of glory,
Of cowardice, courage or crime,
When the sages record the true story,
To ring down the decades of time?

We believe that some peoples now broken,
And crushed by the Turk and the Hun
Will arise from their darkness unspoken,
And stand in the light of the sun.
And it may be that Germans, grown wiser
And taught at so fearful a cost,
Will have hanged their contemptible Kaiser
And regained the fair name they have lost.

We believe that the allies now fighting,
And lavishing billions untold,
Will have found, in the wrong that needs righting,
A service far better than gold;
That in bearing the load of another,
In heeding the cry of the pained,
That in staying the feet of a brother,
Fresh strength for themselves will have gained.

And some lands that now cravenly study
The getting of guerdons and gain,
May have found their gold blasted and bloody,
And tarnished by tears for the slain;
And because they dishonoured their stations
Were weak when they should have been strong,
May be treated with scorn by the nations,
A byword and hissing among.

So the scribe will set down in his pages
The story the centuries tell,
That, for sin, death is still the true wages,
And broad the road leading to hell.

[The end]
Abner Cosens's poem: Afterwards