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Thursday, February 08, 2007

SOUNDING "THE ALARM"

While recently perusing through my antique store edition of Edgar A. Guest’s poetry book, “Over Here,” I was struck by one poem in particular. Although written during the First World War, Mr. Guest’s poem, “The Alarm,” resonated with resounding clearness the need for courageous, willing men to fight in the battle before it is too late. Edgar Guest meant for his weaving of words to encourage and inspire Americans in the fight during World War I, but upon careful reading, the similarities to our present battles for the hearts of mankind are simply striking.

Reading this clarion cry for battle preparedness and courage, my thoughts instantly turned to the dear Botkin family, in particular Anna Sophia and Elizabeth, who unashamedly proclaim the need for truth and readiness in defending our faith and family. May we, like them, be ready and prepared before the battle begins, so our victories tomorrow will be won “by our work to-day.”

“The Alarm”
By: Edgar A. Guest, published in “Over Here” copyright, 1918

Get off your downy cots of ease,
There’s work that must be done.
Great danger’s riding in the seas.
The storm is coming on.
Don’t think that it will quickly pass.
Who smiles at distant fate,
And waits until it strikes, alas!
Has roused himself too late.

Who thinks the fight will end before
The need of him arrives,
Is lengthening this brutal war
And costing many lives.
For over us that storm shall break
Ere many weeks have fled,
And we shall pay for our mistake
In fields of mangled dead.

Be ready when the foe shall near,
Be there to strike him hard;
Let us, though he be miles from here,
Be standing now on guard.
To-morrow’s victories won’t be won
By pluck that we display
To-morrow when the foe comes on,
But by our work to-day.

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