“The Superman,” Robert Grant

The Superman

The horror-haunted Belgian plains riven by shot and shell
Are strewn with her undaunted sons who stayed the jaws of hell.
In every sunny vale of France death is the countersign.
The purest blood in Britain’s veins is being poured like wine.

Far, far across the crimsoned map the impassioned armies sweep.
Destruction flashes down the sky and penetrates the deep.
The Dreadnought knows the silent dread, and seas incarnadine
Attest the carnival of strife, the madman’s battle scene.

Relentless, savage, hot, and grim the infuriate columns press
Where terror simulates disdain and danger is largess,
Where greedy youth claims death for bride and agony seems bliss.
It is the cause, the cause, my soul! which sanctifies all this.

Ride, Cossacks, ride! Charge, Turcos, charge! The fateful hour has come.
Let all the guns of Britain roar or be forever dumb.
The Superman has burst his bonds. With Kultur-flag unfurled And prayer on lip he runs amuck, imperilling the world.

The impious creed that might is right in him personified
Bids all creation bend before the insatiate Teuton pride,
Which, nourished on Valhalla dreams of empire unconfined,
Would make the cannon and the sword the despots of mankind.

Efficient, thorough, strong, and brave—his vision is to kill.
Force is the hearthstone of his might, the pole-star of his will.
His forges glow malevolent: their minions never tire
To deck the goddess of his lust whose twins are blood and fire.

O world grown sick with butchery and manifold distress!
O broken Belgium robbed of all save grief and ghastliness!
Should Prussian power enslave the world and arrogance prevail,
Let chaos come, let Moloch rule, and Christ give place to Baal.

–Robert Grant

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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