The Great War

from The Holy War, an electronic edition

The Great Sorrow

Voice of a great wind, of wild ocean surges,

Storming the gates of Heaven,

The people of God singing under the scourges

Wherewith they are healed and shriven.

This is no sound, no wail of lamentation

Such as of old was heard

When Rachael cried to Heaven her desolation

Until all Heaven was stirred.

The people sing, crushed in the wine-press ruddy,

Broken but not dismayed,

The triumph-song of the soul over the body

Heaven-lifted, angel-stayed.

The white sorrow homes to the heavenly portal.

This grief, this grief has wings --

Blood on her breast, but through the groves immortal

Her song of triumph rings.