1904-1940

By Sir Robert Vansittart
The War Illustrated, Volume 3, No. 45, Page 28, July 12, 1940.

Was I not faithful to you from the first?
When have I ever failed you since my youth?
I loved without illusion, knew the worst,
But felt the best was nearer to the truth.

You were indulgent too and open-eyed
To the shortcomings I was frank to own.
So we were mingled, destined side by side
To face a world we could not face alone.

Did you keep faith with me? When all was well
Yes; but I clave to you when all was not.
And, when temptation touched your citadel,
Your weakness won again, and you forgot -

Forget your Self, and freedom and your friends,
Even interest; and now our vaunted glow
Becomes a blush, as the long story ends
In sorry separation at Bordeaux.

You hate me know; you will not hate me less
If I go on unshaken by your fall,
If for your sake, devoid of bitterness,
I face the world without you after all.

- The Times

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