The Great War

from Herb o' Grace, an electronic edition


(For Dora, 1918)

She carried frankincense and gold

When the Star guided her,

And in her folded hands so cold

She carried myrrh.

Frankincense for the praise she owed,

Gold for her gift was meet,

But myrrh because so oft her road

Was bitter-sweet.

Lay her tired body in that earth

Was holy to her mind!

But the bird-soul flies in high mirth,

Borne on the wind.

It tosses in the Irish skies

Awhile, so small and white,

Ere it is gone -- swiftly it flies

Into the light.

She has gone in with the Three Kings,

In silk and miniver;

The gold, the frankincense she brings,

The sharp-sweet myrrh.