‘My Crown Prince was fine and fair,’ a sorrowful
father said,
‘But he marched away with his regiment and
they tell me that he’s dead!
‘We all must go,’ he whispered low, ‘We must
fight for the Fatherland.’
Now the heart of me’s torn with the grief I
know, and I cannot understand,
For none of the Kaiser’s princes lie out there
where my soldier sleeps;
Here’s a land where grief is the common lot, but
never the Kaiser weeps.
‘My Crown Prince was a kindly prince, and his
eyes were gentle, too,
And glad were the days of his youth to me when
his wonderful smile I knew.
Then the Kaiser flattered and spoke him well,
and he sent him out to die,
But his Crown Prince hasn’t felt one hurt and
the heart of me questions why?
He talks of war in his regal way and he boasts
of his strength to strike,
But his boys all live and he doesn’t know what
the sting of a bullet’s like.
‘Rebellion gnaws at the soul of me as I think
of his Crown Prince gay,
And my Prince cold in the arms of death, and
harsh are the things I say.
I join with the grief-torn muttering men who
challenge the Kaiser’s right
To build his joys on the graves of ours. We
shall rise in our wrath to smite!
And this is the thing we shall ask of him: to
give us the reason why
Our boys must fall on his battlefields, but never
his boys must die?’
Other works by Edgar Albert Guest...