The Great War

from The Holy War, an electronic edition

The Heart of a Boy

To Mrs. Guy Wyndham

The heart of a boy is full of light,

Naked of self, quite pure and clean,

No shadows lurk in it: it is bright

Where God Himself hath been.

I looked in a boy's heart and saw

How its desire was white desire,

Burning upward, as winds might draw

The flame of a candle higher.

What was the heart's desire that burned

Like a white candle stirred in a breeze?

Power or glory or honour earned?

Love that is more than these?

The heart of a boy has but one goal.

The flying Danger smiles as she flies,

Makes her own of him, heart and soul,

With the lure of her lovely eyes.

The boy's heart now is set on a star,

A sword for the weak against the strong,

A young knight riding forth to the War

Who dies to right the wrong.