The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

Requiem

LET others comfort your distress

J With soldier tales of simple art,

Telling his strength, his manliness.

The noble way he played his part.

You should be proud;—ah, gallant heart.

Say not that pride is comfortless.

But I have rarer words than praise.

For more than common love was mine.

And now his dear remembered ways

Are treasured in the sacred shrine

Where human mingles with divine,

A solace for the lonely days.

He battled for no worldly hire,

No stern ambition to appease.

From fight to fight his heart's desire

Was set on higher things than these—

His home beside the English seas,

And children's faces round the fire,

Red clouds, and the low sun agleam

In cottage windows dim with age.

The summer sounds of wood and stream.

These were his faith, his heritage;

His life—a happy pilgrimage,

And death the dawning of a dream.

And on that day he went to die

His spirit soared on rainbow wings,

Gladly he went, with head held high,

And singing as a lover sings

To greet the dusky night, that brings

His hour of happiness more nigh.

Ah, surely when his life was sped

That spirit hastened to your side.

Would you but raise your weeping head

You'd hear him whisper in the tide,

Or on the winds of heaven ride

For ever with the mighty dead.