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Wild Europe

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



WILD Europe, red with Woden's dreadful dew,
On fire with Loki's hate, more savage than
Beasts that we shame by likening to man,
Was it toward this the toiling centuries grew?
Was it for this the Reign of Love began
In that young heretic, that gracious Jew,
Whose race His followers flout the ages through?
Is Time at last a mere comedian,
Mocking in cap and bells our pompous boast
Of progress? Nay, we will not bear it so.
A million hands launch ships to succor woe;
The stars that shudder o'er the slaughtering host

Rain blessing on the Red Cross groups that go
Careless of shrapnel, emulous for the post
Where foul diseases wreak their uttermost
Of horror. Saintship walks incognito
As scoffing Science, but Christ knows His, own
Sway as it may, the wargod's fell caprice,
The victories of Love shall still increase
Until at last, from all this wail and moan,
Rises the song of brotherhood to cease
No more, no more, —the song that shall atone
Even for this mad agony. The throne
That war is building is the throne of Peace.

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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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