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The Horses

Katharine Lee Bates 1859 (Falmouth) – 1929 (Wellesley)



'Thus far 80,000 horses have been shipped from the United States to the European belligerents.'
WHAT was our share in the sinning,
That we must share the doom?
Sweet was our life's beginning
In the spicy meadow-bloom,
With children's hands to pet us
And kindly tones to call.
To-day the red spurs fret us
Against the bayonet wall.
What had we done, our masters,
That you sold us into hell?
Our terrors and disasters
Have filled your pockets well.
You feast on our starvation;
Your laughter is our groan.
Have horses then no nation,
No country of their own?
What are we, we your horses,
So loyal where we serve,
Fashioned of noble forces
All sensitive with nerve?
Torn, agonized, we wallow
On the blood-bemired sod;
And still the shiploads follow.
Have horses then no God?

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Katharine Lee Bates

Katharine Lee Bates is remembered as the author of the words to the anthem America the Beautiful Bates was born in Falmouth Massachusetts and lived as an adult on Centre Street in Newton Massachusetts An historic plaque marks the site of her home The daughter of a Congregational pastor she graduated from Wellesley College in 1880 and for many years was a professor of English literature at Wellesley While teaching there she was elected a member of the newly formed Pi Gamma Mu honor society for the social sciences because of her interest in history and politics for which she also studied She lived at Wellesley with Katharine Coman who herself was a history and political economy teacher and founder of the Wellesley College Economics department The pair lived together for twenty-five years until Comans death in 1915 It is debated if this relationship was an intimate lesbian relationship as different sources maintain or a platonic relationship called sometimes Boston marriages as the local historical society of her birthplace maintain more…

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