“But they are at peace.”
Never to weary more, nor suffer sorrow,—
Their strife all over, and their work all done:
At peace—and only waiting for the morrow;
Heaven’s rest and rapture even now begun.
So tired once! long fetter’d, sorely burden’d,
Ye struggled hard and well for your release;
Ye fought in faith and love—and ye are guerdon’d,
O happy souls! for now ye are at peace.
No more of pain, no more of bitter weeping!
For us a darkness and an empty place,
Somewhere a little dust—in angels’ keeping—
A blessèd memory of a vanish’d face.
For us the lonely path, the daily toiling,
The din and strife of battle, never still’d;
For us the wounds, the hunger, and the soiling,—
The utter, speechless longing, unfulfill’d.
For us the army camp’d upon the mountains,
Unseen, yet fighting with our Syrian foes,—
The heaven-sent manna and the wayside fountains,
The hope and promise, sweetening our woes.
For them the joyous spirit, freely ranging
Green hills and fields where never mortal trod;
For them the light unfading and unchanging,
The perfect quietness—the peace of God.
For both, a dim, mysterious, distant greeting;
For both, at Jesus’ cross, a drawing near;
At Eucharistic gate a blessed meeting,
When angels and archangels worship here.
For both, God grant, an everlasting union,
When sin shall pass away and tears shall cease;
For both the deep and full and true communion,
For both the happy life that is “at peace.”