The Great War

from War: an Ode And Other Poems, an electronic edition

To J. F. White (Art Critic) When Dying

SINCE thou hast beauty all life long,

In sun and shade,

Followed, and worshipped, and obeyed,

Beauty will make thy spirit strong

And unafraid.

Beauty will glorify the gloom,

Beauty will show the unborn light

Leaping within the laden womb

Of weary night,

Beauty will make the silence song,

Beauty will make the darkness bright.

Hast thou not heard the loving Heart

Whose music passes Music's art?

Hast thou not seen a white Hand flit

Across the darkness, lighting it?

Peace surely waits beyond the pain,

And calm beyond the troubled bar;

We must believe that death is good,

We blossoms of a dying star.

And surely He is kind and wise,

Who made such Beauty for thine eyes.

We watched thee sow, we watched thee reap

Wisdom and Honour day by day,

And now when comes white-lidded Sleep

To lead thee down the Lonely Way,

We will not sigh, we will not weep,

For Beauty's thoughts are wise and deep.

What though the night be dark and dumb?

Out of the night

Will issue light,

And song will from the silence come.

So lie at rest

On Beauty's breast,

Who maketh Beauty knoweth best.