The Great War

from The Holy War, an electronic edition

Riding Home

Who are these that go to the high peaks and the snow?

Side by side do they ride, their steady eyes aglow.

Gallant gentlemen, they go spurring o'er the plain;

Home from the war again.

As they pass without a sound, there is many a red wound.

Oh, pale they are and faint they are, these warriors renowned!

Yet smiling all together in the calm sweet weather,

As they ride home together.

Where the white bed is spread and the feast is set afar

And the welcome awaits and the door stands ajar,

Those who droop to the saddle-bow they shall have rest enow,

Quiet and rest enow.

Like leaves of a wood vast their numbers as they passed,

Like winds in the pines their horses speeding fast;

And spent with victory their haggard faces be,

As they ride fast and free.

Some will meet and greet them as they leap to the ground

With soft cries, wet eyes, and fond arms around;

Lead them in to begin New Life, to which all loves

Home like a flock of doves.