If that thou hast the gift of strength, then know
Thy part is to uplift the trodden low;
Else in a giant’s grasp until the end
A hopeless wrestler shall thy soul contend.
[Written for the Charing Cross Album]
Seen, too clear and historic within us, our sins of
Frown when the Autumn days strike us all ruthlessly bare.
They of our mortal diseases find never healing physician;
Errors they of the soul, past the one hope to repair.
Sunshine might we have been unto seed under soil,
or have scattered
Seed to ascendant suns brighter than any that shone.
Even the limp-legged beggar a sick desperado has flattered
Back to a half-sloughed life cheered by the mere human tone.
Between the fountain and the rill
I passed, and saw the mighty will
To leap at sky; the careless run,
As earth would lead her little son.
Beneath them throbs an urgent well,
That here is play, and there is war.
I know not which had most to tell
Of whence we spring and what we are.
When comes the lighted day for men to read
Life’s meaning, with the work before their hands
Till this good gift of breath from debt is freed,
Earth will not hear her children’s wailful bands
Deplore the chieftain fall’n in sob and dirge;
Nor they look where is darkness, but on high.
The sun that dropped down our horizon’s verge,
Illumes his labours through the travelled sky,
Now seen in sum, most glorious; and ’tis known
By what our warrior wrought we hold him fast.
A splendid image built of man has flown;
His deeds inspired of God outstep a Past.
Ours the great privilege to have had one
Among us who celestial tasks has done.
To Thee, dear God of Mercy, both appeal,
Who straightway sound the call to arms. Thou know’st;
And that black spot in each embattled host,
Spring of the blood-stream, later wilt reveal.
Now is it red artillery and white steel;
Till on a day will ring the victor’s boast,
That ’tis Thy chosen towers uppermost,
Where Thy rejected grovels under heel.
So in all times of man’s descent insane
To brute, did strength and craft combining strike,
Even as a God of Armies, his fell blow.
But at the close he entered Thy domain,
Dear God of Mercy, and if lion-like
He tore the fall’n, the Eternal was his Foe.