The Great War

from A Crown of Amaranth, an electronic edition

The Living Victims.
Fathers and Mothers of the Fallen

O PIERC√ąD hearts and empty eyes,

I, seeing your great sacrifice,

I, who no younger part can play,

Just bless and thank you, night and day.

Your faces, not the forms I meet,

Make the procession of the street

And in the anguished night I start

'Tis you who take me by the heart.

Yet comfort find I in this thought :

When God for man's Redemption wrought,

And One must die, He chose the part

Far sharper to the Father's heart,

And gave His Son. O dearest You,

Take that high parable for true.

Ye gods and goddesses 'mong men

It shall be now as it was then :-

The earth be saved (O share my faith!)

By the blest Boys you gave to Death.

With even these words to your deaf heart

I eased my secondary smart;

Then felt ashamed, as they who shout

When God's own silence is about,

And turned, that I might hide my head :

Because there's nothing to be said.