What Of The Night?
The doom is imminent of unholy hate.
Hail to the light that glimmers where the leaves
Are shaken by winds of dawning, and the sheaves
Of hemlock swirl and scatter in the spate!
Love, that has learned in faith to sorrow and wait,
Sings loud his glorious charm and subtly weaves
The spell subduing madness that receives
The madman at his own mad estimate.
Ah, but the ponderous horror! Nay, not yet
The cloud of sorrow leeward growls and rolls;
The eyes that meet the morn are heavy and wet.
The loss the military mind enscrolls,
Spilt blood and battered bones, we may forget,
But not the wastage of beloved souls
I sit in the dusk and see
Surely the living faces, dear to me,
Of comrades who have thrown
All that they had, the fruit of all desire,
Upon an altar fire.
Above all clamour of the crowd,
The music of their own hearts throbbing loud
Until the air was stirred
Into a summoning harmony; and so
We saw them rise, and go.
That love set ringing in those years
Of agony, exultation, voiceless fears,
And hopes now underground,
Shall not be silenced; it is thrilling yet,
And we shall not forget.
The mellow tone of mingled notes,
Triumph and sorrow made one spirit, floats
To my prophetic ear;
That is their music echoing, echoing still
From our remembering hill.
Stupidity and Selfishness and Fear,
Who hold enslaved the intellect of Man,
Have found their victims here.
We saw them go, alert to seek the van
Where phantom Glory showered her withering leaves;
Now they return who can.
Slowly, full-fraught with pain, the vessel heaves
From labouring seas, and creeps along the bay
To where the city grieves.
Happy are those who limp the dusty way;
And those whose eyes can meet the loving glance,
Happy indeed are they.
But mock them not with babble of romance:
They have glared at death across the orient rocks
Or in the mire of France.
O welcome to your land of herds and flocks
And fields that pray toward a fairy sky
That promises and mocks.
Welcome! our eyes are strained and sorrow-dry,
Watching for peace and you, and every heart
Would fain, but cannot, cry.
For you who, led by love, have borne your part
Where war's black ploughshare turns the bloody sand
And crops of hatred start
For you and by your help, heroic band,
We swear by love and labour to make this
A lovelier, worthier land.
Nor shall we let the home-bred serpent hiss
Unscotched upon our hearth, if ever here
Our hope and fortune kiss.
The workers of the battered world draw near,
Scorning a foeman's name. The heart of Man
In every land is dear.