Wednesday 12 July 2017

Beatrice M. Barry - ?

Matt Jacobsen of the wonderful website  has been in touch with me again, to give me the name of another Female Poet of the First World War.  is where I found a great deal of very interesting information when I first began researching – beginning with Mildred Aldridge.  Thank you Matt.

Matt sent me:
“… a poem by a lass named Beatrice Barry - I know zip about here, beyond the fact that she appeared often in the New York Times weekend magazine, "Current History". I hope you find it useful.”

I certainly have Matt – thank you for sending me on another amazing journey researching the women poets of WW1.  I haven't yet been able to find out anything about Beatrice M. Barry either, other than the fact that she had poems published in the "New York Times" - if anyone can help please get in touch.

“ANSWERING THE ‘HASSGESANG’ “ By Beatrice M. Barry – was one of the poems written in response to the poem written by German poet Ernst Lissauer (1882 – 1937) -  “Hassgesong gegen England” (A Hymn of Hate against England) which was published in a pamphlet in August 1914 “Worte in die Zeit – Flugblatter 1914 von Ernst Lissauer”.  You will find the text of the original German of Ernst Lissauer’s poem, together with a translation by Barbara Henderson by following this link:

French and Russian, they matter not,

For England only your wrath is hot;  

But little Belgium is so small

You never mentioned her at all —

Or did her graveyards, yawning deep,

Whisper that silence was discreet?

For Belgium is waste! Ay, Belgium is waste!

She welters in the blood of her sons,

And the ruins that fill the little place

Speak of the vengeance of the Huns.

"Come, let us stand at the Judgment place,"

German and Belgian, face to face.

What can you say? What can you do?

What will history say of you?

For even the Hun can only say

That little Belgium lay in his way.

Is there no reckoning you must pay?

What of the Justice of that "Day"?

Belgium one voices — Belgium one cry

Shrieking her wrongs, inflicted by



In her ruined homesteads, her trampled fields,

You have taken your toll, you have set your seal;

Her women are homeless, her men are dead,

Her children pitifully cry for bread;

Perchance they will drink with you — "To the Day!"

Let each man construe it as he may.

What shall it be?

They, too, have but one enemy;

Whose work is this?

Belgium has but one word to hiss —



Take you the pick of your fighting men

Trained in all warlike arts, and then

Make of them all a human wedge

To break and shatter your sacred pledge;

You may fling your treaty lightly by,

But that "scrap of paper" will never die!

It will go down to posterity,

It will survive in eternity.

Truly you hate with a lasting hate;

Think you you will escape that hate?

"Hate by water and hate by land;

Hate of the head and hate of the hand."

Black and bitter and bad as sin,

Take you care lest it hem you in,

Lest the hate you boast of be yours alone,

And curses, like chickens, find roost at home


First published in “The New York Times” on 16th October 1914.

From “Contemporary War Poems” (New York American Association for International Coalition)