The Valorous Visage                                                                                                   

A toast for the face in whose features we trace
The glory of peace and of war,
The face that sets fire to our flagging desire
The face that we dread--and adore.
Oh the spell of the eyes and the lure of the lips
And the fatal enchantment that leaps
From the face that has launched many thousands of ships
And sunk thousands more in the deeps!

Then here's to the Bright Face of Danger
Whose sparkling and truculent gleam
Gives living a glamor that's stranger
Than ever shone out of a dream.

No softness is seen in that insolent mien
No tender and wistful romance,
Unless you can bear that hot challenging stare
You're seared to the bone by a glance,
But he who can answer those blistering eyes,
With reckless and light-hearted mirth
Shall find in that visage a magic that lies
In no ther features on earth.

So here's to the Bright Face of Danger
That shimmers with perilous light,
That makes of the plodder--a ranger,
And makes of the Helot--a Knight!

That face is a star leading mortals afar
Over seas, over battlefields red,
Daring Heaven and Hell as they follow pell-mell
The Bright Face of Danger ahead.
The visage that knows neither mercy nor ruth
But shines with a radiance high,
The face they shall love with the passion of youth,
And smartly salute when they die!

So here's to the Bright Face of Danger
Blithe, glittering, Gorgon-eyed, bold
Whose pitiless light is a changer
Of life's leaden metal to gold!

Published in: Short Stories - November 10, 1934

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