The Soul's Quest and Other Poems

by Frederick George Scott


 

REQUIESCAT

GENERAL GORDON


 

O THOU twice hero—hero in thy life
    And in thy death—we have no power to crown
Thy nobleness; we weep thine arm in strife;
    We weep, but glory in thy life laid down.

There comes no voice from Egypt, none did stand

5
    Beside thee fall’n; as who the winepress trod,
Thou wert alone; thy face is hid in sand,
    And thy last moments in the ear of God.

Dying as thou didst, no stone can guard thy name,
    No storied marble mark thy dust beneath.

10
What need? The whole world knows thee, speaks thy fame,
    And all the world hath shuddered at thy death.

Hath shuddered; yet the stroke that laid thee low
    Shall wring men’s hearts with envy, and new eyes,
Age after age, shall kindle in the glow

15
    Of thy great life and life’s self-sacrifice.

We cannot dream the days of glory passed,
    That England bears no heroes in her age;
Strong honour lives, and breathed in thee, the last
    And greatest hero on her history’s page.

20

Saint! hero! through the clouds of doubt that loom
    O’er darkling skies, thy life hath power to bless;
We thank the thou hast shown us in the gloom
    Once more Christ’s power and childlike manliness.

1885.