Flower of youth, poems in war time/A Prayer
(For Those Who Shall Return)
Lord, when they come back again
From the dreadful battlefield
To the common ways of men,
Be Thy mercy, Lord, revealed!
Make them to forget the dread
Fields of dying and the dead!
Let them go unhaunted, Lord,
By the sights that they have seen:
Guard their dreams from shell and sword:
Lead them by the pastures green,
That they wander all night long
In the fields where they were young.
Grant no charnel horrors slip
'Twixt them and their child's soft face.
Breast to breast and lip to lip,
Let the lovers meet, embrace!
Be they innocent of all
Memories that affright, appal.
Let their ears love music still,
And their eyes rejoice to see
Glory on the sea and hill,
Beauty in the flower and tree.
Drop a veil that none may raise
Over dreadful nights and days.