The Secret Foe

Katharine Tynan 1861 (Ireland) – 1931

When now to battle he shall ride,
The bravest of the brave,
Joan the Maid be by his side
And Michael, quick to save.

Not against man's most fell device
The shell, the gas, the mine;
These he shall meet with steady eyes
And courage half-divine.

Oh, not the gaping wounds and red
And not the tortured sense,
And not the dying and the dead
And his own impotence.

But when the joy of battle faints
And his hot blood grows chill,
Be near him, all ye soldier saints,
Lest Satan work him ill!

Lest in the hour of his great fight
This foe should him assail,
The enemy that creeps by night
Strike through his coat of mail.

Sebastian of the arrows, haste,
Michael and the White Maid,
Lest in his splendid hour, at last,
The soldier be afraid.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Katharine Tynan

Katharine Tynan was an Irish-born writer, known mainly for her novels and poetry. more…

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    "The Secret Foe" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 Sep. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/25067/the-secret-foe>.

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