The Great War

from Late Songs, an electronic edition

The Grey Country

I dreamt a dream on November Night

Of the dear souls that wait in pain

For the full Vision, the Delight,

Beauty that shall not change nor wane.

The grey country's to Heaven close,

Not Heaven but almost Heaven's twin;

As a grey rose to a gold rose,

As a grey image faint and thin.

In the grey land were bliss enough

Did not the Vision shine and gleam,

Turning the softest ways to rough

Until they might attain to Him?

Mary walking in Heaven's bower

Heard the sighing after her Son:

Give me Thy Mercy for an hour,

Thou who wert once my little one!

Mary came with stars in her hair,

The new moon was under her feet;

In the grey world so still and fair

The heart of the world began to beat.

Some were clinging beside her skirt,

Soul on soul like a flock of birds;

Others nested, oh past desert!

On the heart that had seven swords.

Mary gathers them one and all,

Many a one late home from war,

As they were children tender and small-

Sweetly gathers them all to her.

As a green tree in a bird's flight

I saw Mary amid her flock,

Carrying souls in her veil white,

Hiding them warm in her blue cloak.