Far, as we flung that challenge, fled the ghosts—
Back, as we built, the obscene foe withdrew—
High to the song of hammers sang the hosts
Of Heaven—and lo! the daystar, and a new
Dawn with its chalice and its wind as wine;
And youth was hope, and life once more divine!
* * * * *
Day, and hot noon, and now
the evening glow,
And ’neath our scaffolding the city spread
Twilit, with rain-wash’d roofs, and—hark!—below,
One late bell tolling. “Dead? Our Captain dead?”
Nay, here with us he fronts the westering sun
With shaded eyes and counts the wide fields won.
Aloft with us! And
while another stone
Swings to its socket, haste with trowel and hod!
Win the old smile a moment ere, alone,
Soars the great soul to bear report to God.
Night falls; but thou, dear Captain, from thy star
Look down, behold how bravely goes the war!
A. B. D.
Canon Residentiary and Precentor of Truro December 1903
Many had builded, and, the
Through our adorned gates with din
Came Prince and Priest, with pipe and clarion
Leading the right God in.
Yet, had the perfect temple
And whispered us between our song,
"Give God the praise. To whom of living men
Shall next our thanks belong?"
Then had the few, the very
few, that wist
His Atlantean labour, swerved
Their eyes to seek, and in the triumph missed,
The man that most deserved.
He only of us was incorporate
In all that fabric; stone by stone
Had built his life in her, had made his fate
And her perfection one;
Given all he had; and now—when
all was given—
Far spent, within a private shade,
Heard the loud organ pealing praise to Heaven,
And learned why man is made.—
To break his strength, yet
always to be brave;
To preach, and act, the Crucified ...
Sweep by, O Prince and Prelate, up the nave,
And fill it with your pride!
Better than ye what made th’
old temples great,
Because he loved, he understood;
Indignant that his darling, less in state,
Should lack a martyr’s blood.
She hath it now. O mason, strip away
Her scaffolding, the flower disclose!
Lay by the tools with his o’er-wearied clay—
But She shall bloom unto its Judgment Day,
His ever-living Rose!
C. W. S.
The Fourth Bishop of Truro May 1912
Prince of courtesy defeated,
Heir of hope untimely cheated,
Throned awhile he sat, and, seated,
his Cornish round him gather;
“Teach us how to live, good Father!”
How to die he taught us rather: