Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/106

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For we have seen the light, and it were grievous
To dim that dawning if our lady leave us.

By life that ebbed with none to staunch the failing
By Love's sad harvest garnered in the spring,
When Love in Ignorance wept unavailing
O'er young buds dead before their blossoming;
By all the gray owl watched—the pale moon viewed,
In past grim years declare our gratitude!

By hands uplifted to the Gods that heard not,
By gifts that found no favour in Their sight,
By faces bent above the babe that stirred not,
By nameless horrors of the stifling night;
By ills foredone, by peace her toils discover,
Bid Earth be good beneath and Heaven above her!

If she have sent her servants in our pain,
If she have fought with Death and dulled his sword;
If she have given back our sick again,
And to the breast the weakling lips restored,
Is it a little thing that she has wrought?
Then Life and Death and Motherhood be naught.