Dunkirk, May 1940

God’s pity on you, regimented slaves.
Who work your master’s foulness on the land,
Pollute with treachery the friendly waves
and taint the heavens with murder at
command
The shattered cities flaming to the skies,
The desolation of the fatherless,
The staring hatred in unnumbered eyes,
These are your trophies in the wilderness.
For these you trade imperishable things,
Liberty, truth and kindness by the way,
And lose Eternities inheritings
In fevered grasping at a waning day.
Listen, and tremble, to our battle cry—
Behold we live and you can only die!

by Richard Elwes

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