Marching Men: War Verses/To Our Beloved

TO OUR BELOVED.

THE hearts you knew in those unchallenged years,
The hearts that loved you—softer grown with tears,
O let them be your living bed,
Come home to us, beloved dead!

We will not mourn or praise you over much,
We only ask with wistful lips to touch
Your garment's hem, and lay sweet boughs
Grown of heart's pride upon your brows.

We only ask that with you we may die
To all that you have died to, putting by
The aims that once set life ablaze,
The cares that vexed those restless days.

For something of us perished at your side,
The lighter self you knew died when you died;
Though we are called by no new name,
We, too, have passed that cleansing flame,—


Have passed beyond the old desires and fears
Into a tenderness unstained of tears;
'Tis this that we would fold you in,
Our spirits' next and nearest kin.

Think not, Beloved, that you have suffered change
To us, it is the world that has grown strange
We are more wholly yours, indeed,
As the swift tides of earth recede;

For though condemned to life, yet do we stand
Consciously near the Undiscovered Land,
Feeling befriended there and known
In the high fellowship death has shown.