The Great War

from The Holy War, an electronic edition


To Ivo Alan Charteris, October 17th, 1915

Requiescat is not my bidding,

That is the weary man's right speeding;

You, O Child, full of life and laughter,

Joy to you now and long days hereafter!

Light of foot, ever running and leaping,

Who would tether your feet to sleeping?

Who would stretch you on a sad bed?

A flying light was your golden head.

Many a game and a goal be given

To you in the playing-fields of Heaven;

Be as you were, a light shape of joy,

Glad in the strength and the grace of a boy.

Dear and young, here's the prayer I pray for you;

Heaven be full of new life and play for you!

Swift as an arrow, light as a swallow,

So may we find you, boy, when we follow.