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[186]
     Swooped up and swept on
To the low, reedy fen-lands,
     The Marsh of the Swan.

With a vain plea for mercy
     No stout knee was crooked;
In the mouths of the rifles
     Right manly they looked.
How paled the May sunshine,
     O Marais du Cygne!
On death for the strong life,
     On red grass for green!

In the homes of their rearing,
     Yet warm with their lives,
Ye wait the dead only,
     Poor children and wives!
Put out the red forge-fire,
     The smith shall not come;
Unyoke the brown oxen,
     The ploughman lies dumb.

Wind slow from the Swan's Marsh,
     O dreary death-train,
With pressed lips as bloodless
     As lips of the slain!
Kiss down the young eyelids,
     Smooth down the gray hairs;
Let tears quench the curses
     That burn through your prayers.

Strong man of the prairies,
     Mourn bitter and wild!

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