Poetry Friday: The 20th Gift of Christmas in France, 1917

Christmas Eve in France by Jessie Fauset
“Jessie Redmon Fauset (April 27, 1882 – April 30, 1961) was an American editor, poet, essayist and novelist.
Fauset was the editor of the NAACP magazine The Crisis. She also was the editor and co-author for the African American children’s magazine Brownies’ Book. She studied the teachings and beliefs of W.E.B Dubois and considered him to be her mentor. Fauset was known as one of the most intelligent women novelists of the Harlem Renaissance, earning her the name ‘the midwife’. In her lifetime she wrote four novels as well as poetry and short fiction.” ~Wikipedia, Jessie Redmon Faucet

OH little Christ, why do you sigh
As you look down to-night
On breathless France, on bleeding France,
And all her dreadful plight?
What bows your childish head so low?
What turns your cheek so white?

Oh little Christ, why do you moan,
What is it that you see
In mourning France, in martyred France,
And her great agony?
Does she recall your own dark day,
Your own Gethsemane?

Oh little Christ, why do you weep,
Why flow your tears so sore
For pleading France, for praying France,
A suppliant at God’s door?
“God sweetened not my cup,” you say,
“Shall He for France do more?”

Oh little Christ, what can this mean,
Why must this horror be
For fainting France, for faithful France,
And her sweet chivalry?
“I bled to free all men,” you say
“France bleeds to keep men free.”

Oh little, lovely Christ—you smile!
What guerdon is in store
For gallant France, for glorious France,
And all her valiant corps?
“Behold I live, and France, like me;
Shall live for evermore.”

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