Healing all, hiding others
Who were countrymen of mine,
Till they could make good escape
Over the occupied line.
I took the same care of all
With duty, pity, and love.
It mattered not, Race or creed,
As I must face God above.
They bring a charge of treason,
Now before them I must stand.
I did fulfil my duty
Although in occupied land.
Somewhere deep inside the heart
Where roots of loyalty lie
I just had to make a choice,
I could not stand idly by.
Two hundred men made escape
Through neutral Holland and home,
Neither sorrow nor regret
Whatever result may come.
As I face eternity
Unto God I now confess,
No hatred for anyone
In my heart no bitterness.
Edith Cavell was a nurse in German occupied Belgium.
She dutifully nursed both German and allied soldiers who were wounded. She did however, begin to shelter allied soldiers, and funnel them out to neutral Holland.
As a result of this she was charged with treason by the Germans and sentenced to death by firing squad. She and Phillipe Baucq, who had also been instrumental in the escapes, were duly executed on 12th october 1915.
Before her death she said, "As I stand before God and eternity, I must confess that patriotism is not enough. I must have no bitterness nor hatred towards anyone."
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This is challenging and lovely. I have to admit to not really knowing much of Edith Cavell's work although I knew her name and that she was a nurse. Her comment therefore was inspiring as well as interesting and you have put her heart's desire wonderfully into verse.
Just to say I went to Edith Cavell Secondary Modern School in London, way back when!
So when I saw the title of your article, I just HAD to comment. Yes, Edith WAS a beautiful soul and of course she did not deserve her persecution. Thankfully, times are changing.