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THEY have signed the treaty, they’re firmly bound,”

Thus whispered the Briton and the wily Gaul

In the ear of the volatile Walloon,

“And much is easily gained for us all:

“Remember the in your own walls

“He dares to ask for an equal right!

“He scorns the tongue of beautiful France

“And harsh on your ears his jargon falls.

“Come, join our league! In our secret plans

“We are weaving a net for the German fool.

“His honest dullness will make that scrap

“Of parchment scribbled our sharpest tool.

“Then you may laugh at the Flemish boor;

“Then throughout Belgium, rich and fair,

“Will ring French words and songs alone,

“And Flemish Antwerpen be French Anvers!”

Thus softly they spoks to the weak Walloon,

He forgot his faith and his plighted word.

To the French he opened his fortress gate

To strike, when the war bell should be heard.

Woe, woe, the Walloon! The lightning spark

Struck quick and hard ere Treason was done

Preparing the scheme and weaving the net

For Justice is swift, and Right has won!

What boots his bravery, serving the Wrong!

Now Mankind will forget not soon

The vengeance coming in fire and blood,

To the treacherous wile of the weak Walloon!

Bruncken, Ernest. “The Treason.” The Fatherland 1, no. 5 (September 6, 1914): 9.

Bruncken, Ernest. “The Treason.” The Fatherland 1, no. 5 (September 6, 1914): 9.



Walloons in southern and eastern Belgium (the Walloon Region) and parts of France speak a French dialect. The Flemings (or Flemish) speak Flemisch Dutch and inhabit northern Belgium (Flanders). Matthew R. Dunn describes pre-war tensions in Belgium arising from efforts by both Walloons and Flemings to maintain their respective cultural identities within the Belgian state that had been founded in 1830. Early in the occupation, Germans sought to “exploit numerous differences” between the two cultural groups. Bruncken's poem suggests that the French and British are raising suspicions among Walloons and Flemings.

Dunn, Matthew R. “The Lion, the Rooster, and the Union: National Identity in the Belgian Clandestine Press, 1914–1918.” Honors Thesis, B.A. History, University of Kansas, 2018. https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/handle/1808/26637.



Antwerp is a port city and the capital of Antwerp Province in the Flemish region of Belgium.

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