ON WITH THE DANCE

We have come over death charged seas, to fight the foes of France;
The foes of France, the foes of earth, the foes of God on High.
Oh think not that because we laugh, because we sing and dance,
We have forgotten this grave fact--to-morrow we may die.
The ocean billows leap and lilt, when tides are at full flow,
But never yet a wave forgot the depths that lay below.

As David danced before the Lord, we dance now in our joy
At being part of this great force for justice and for truth.
Strong as the old Olympian gods that won the siege of Troy!
We glory in our brawn and brain, and in our splendid youth.
We glory in the right to live and use our manhood's dower,
And if need be, the right to die in this stupendous hour.

America holds out her hand to beautiful brave France,
Her friends are ours, her foes are ours. On! On, now with the dance!

  On the Fourth of July the American officers in Tours decided to given an entertainment beginning with patriotic moving pictures and a concert and ending with a ball.  It came to my ears that the French residents were criticizing the idea of dancing at such an hour in the world's history.  It impressed them as frivolous and indecorous.  I wrote the following verses, and sent them to the committee of entertainment, who published them with the program: [see above]

The worlds and I. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox. p. 401
New York : George H. Doran Company, c1918.


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