IN MEMORIAM: CHARLES PEGUY (JAN. 7, 1873 – SEPT. 5, 1914)
And Have You Heard?
Athena in reverse, the bullet hits
The pate and pierces deep within the folds
Of reason, music, memory. In bits
And pieces, death releases what it holds
And faith is stopped in mid-stride. While the war
Continues counting on, a mournful muse
Has come to mark her dear lieutenant’s hour:
“He came to speak his mind on flesh, accuse
His blood for God, indict the empty thrones
And cast his songs like crowns.” The western world
Now spills more blood across his heap of stones.
Long after Mars had scattered, banners furled,
His tongue, unflagging, speaks this dying word:
O mon Dieu! Mes enfants! And have you heard?
(Our thanks to a reader who submitted this poem to Rorate.)