Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When It Is Finished / Marjorie Pickthall

 
When It Is Finished

When it is finished, Father, and we set
The war-stained buckler and the bright blade by,
Bid us remember then what bloody sweat,
What thorns, what agony
Purchased our wreaths of harvest and ripe ears,
Whose empty hands, whose empty hearts, whose tears
Ransomed the days to be.

We leave them to Thee, Father, we’ve no price,
No utmost treasure of the seas and lands,
No words, no deeds, to pay their sacrifice.
Only while England stands,
Their pearl, their pride, their altar,— not their grave,—
Bid us remember in what days they gave
All that mankind may give
That we might live.

---
Marjorie L.C. Pickthall
from Selected Poems, 1957

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]

Marjorie Pickthall (by George Dance)

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