Strogn enough to be neutral — as is now proved, now American power
From Australia to the Aleutian fog-seas, and Hawaii to Africa, rides every
wind — we were misguided
By fraud and fear, by our public fools and a loved leader’s ambition,
To meddle in the fever-dreams of decaying Europe. We could have forced
peace, even when France fell; we chose
To make alliance and feed war.
Actum est. There is no returning now.
Two bloody summers from now (I suppose) we shall have to take up the
corrupting burden and curse of victory.
We shall have to hold half the earth: we shall be sick with self-disgust,
And hated by friend and foe, and hold half the earth — or let it go, and go
down with it. Here is a burden
We are not fit for. We are not like Romans and Britons — natural
Bullies by instinct — but we have to bear it. Who has kissed Fate on the
mouth, and blown out the lamp — must lie with her.