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Warsaw

I was in Warsaw when the first bomb fell;
I was in Warsaw when the Terror came –
Havoc and horror, famine, fear and flame,
Blasting from loveliness a living hell.
Barring the station towered a sentinel;
Trainward I battled, blind escape my aim.
ENGLAND! I cried. He kindled at the name:
With lion-leap he haled me. . . . All was well.

ENGLAND! they cried for aid, and cried in vain.
Vain was their valour, emptily they cried.
Bleeding, they saw their Cry crucified. . . .
O splendid soldier, by the last lone train,
To-day would you flame forth to fray me place?
Or – would you curse and spit into my face?

September, 1939

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Poem Warsaw - Robert William Service