Eight Harvard Poets/A Crucifix

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Eight Harvard Poets
A Crucifix
by R. S. Mitchell

A CRUCIFIX


THIS was the cross of God on which men's eyes
Dwelt with the love of dead divinity,
    As they who by the desolate orient sea
In battle made their sainted sacrifice,
Dreaming their boundless striving should devise
    A symbol whereby men might know that he
    Who wins his way on earth to victory,
Thus in his consummated sorrow dies.

All things are sacred to that tender sight:
    Time's ancient altars whence strange incense curled
Innocent to the unknown gods; the light
    Of love is thine; faith's banner is unfurled,
Even where the farthest watchmen, through the night,

    Call on the cloud-wrapped ramparts of the world.