Landfall: (Norway, May 8, 1940)

SEE, this long land has sails of snow,
And at her craggy stem
The silver sheeny water parts in slow
White waves, that come and go
To blue again. We come
Not to admire, to know
The joy of her white solitude, to ride
With her adrift upon the breaking tide.
No, we are trespassers upon this world,
We, men in khaki, with our weapons held
Ready to kill. What right had any man
Ever to break this peace?
Here’s no fit place
For our fierce rowdy farce to be performed.
Could men not leave this land unharmed?
Oh you indifferent mountains, ice, and snow,
Forgive us where we go,
Pardon our sinfulness in bearing arms
Across this land. Then let us come again,
When peace shall end this pain,
Here to atone for all our sacrilege.