In Sun and Shade: A Book of Verse

by Frederick George Scott


 

ON THE RUE DU BOIS


 

O PALLID Christ within this broken shrine,
Not those torn Hands and not that Heart of Thine
Have given the nations blood to drink like wine.

Through weary years and ’neath the changing skies,
Men turned their back on those appealing Eyes

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And scorned as vain Thine awful sacrifice.

Kings with their armies, children in their play,
Have passed unheeding down this shell-ploughed way,
The great world knew not where its true strength lay.

In pomp and luxury, in lust of gold,

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In selfish ease, in pleasures manifold,
“Evil is good, good evil,” we were told.

Yet here, where nightly the great flare-lights gleam,
And murder stalks triumphant in their beam,
The world has wakened from its empty dream.

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At last, O Christ, in this strange, darkened land,
Where ruined homes lie round on every hand,
Life’s deeper truths men come to understand.

For lonely graves along the country side
Where sleep those brave hearts who for others died

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Tell of life’s union with the Crucified.

And new light kindles in the mourner’s eyes,
Like day-dawn breaking through the rifted skies,
For life is born of life’s self-sacrifice.

Sailly, France, 1915.