The Great War

from Late Songs, an electronic edition

The Fulfilment

Who are these that go with our girl white as snow,

The one speckless lily since the world began?

They carry the well-water for our little dear


Their wings are as sapphire, my good wife Anne.

Joachim, my husband, there is naught amiss,

Though something's changed our girl from the child

she was

When from the hidden Temple she came, gentle and


Surely some wonderful thing of God has come to pass!

Anne, in the dawning when the lights were low

And the first bird was stirring I was sore afeard.

There was someone with our girl, clad in the rose and


For I heard his talking and her answer heard.

When she plucks the grapes from the clinging vine,

When she sweeps the hearth-place and kneads the


There's a hand fine and slender, quick aid to render.

What light grows about her, our little maid?

Anne, in the house there's a stirring of feet,

Winnow of wings and rustle upon the stair.

The flowers spring before her and the stars lean o'er her,

And a ring of light dazzles gold in her hair.

Joachim, my goodman, great things are afoot,

The Hour of God is striking and the Word fulfilled.

The child that shall be born shall wear the Crown of


Yea, for world's healing His Blood be spilled.

Mary goes by them, slender and young.

The Rose of Sharon's budded and Jesse's Rod in


Magnificat she is singing and her song soaring, winging,

Sets all the roses swinging in Heaven's bower.