The Wood of the Marine Brigade

by Marie Tello Phillips

Marie Tello Phillips

THE shallow trenches in the wheat,
Now overgrown with flowers,
Lead to the leafy vine draped wood
Where birds build amid the bowers—
"Marines' Brigade—, named by the French—
A monument now towers.

The trees entwined with clematis
And holly, bright and red,
Here wave their boughs of great green plumes
Above the sleeping dead;
And myriad crosses mark the graves
Here where they nobly bled.

Eight thousand Fifth and Sixth Marines
FoughTHEre and saved the day;
Three-fourths and more here felt the fire
So ravenous to slay;
But they who died, and they who lived,
Unvanquished, cleared the way.

Surrounded by machine-gun nests,
With rifle-butts, they drove
The sulking foes into the fray,
With war-like force of Jove;
All but the dead, dismayed and dazed,
Took flight within the grove.

That day, the mighty tide of war
Was dammed by one small band
The wave of death was rolled back toward
The Rhine and "Vaterland—;
And Paris, France, Democracy
Revived at their brave stand.

Chateau Thierry, Marne, Argonne,
And San Mihiel, all gave
Their living holocausts to a cause
They lost their lives to save;
But the dead who fledged the German flight
Lie buried in this woodland grave.

The fame of the Fifth and Sixth Marines
Around the world will ring,
And their glorious fight for the U.S.A.
A glow of pride will bring.
Of Catlan's, Neville's, glorious deeds
America will sing!

Last updated April 01, 2023