More songs by the fighting men. Soldiers poets: second series/Reginald F. Clements

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2nd Lieut., Royal Sussex Regiment


I MAY not wait to hear
What says the wind that sweeps across the lea,
And yet I know it speaks, and in its voice
There is some word to make my heart rejoice,
Some message speeding on eternally
That God has not made clear!

I may not wait to find
The secret of the seething sea that flows
Nor ever rests; yet must there be some plan
Above the most exalted thought of man,
Some destiny that none but Heaven knows,
And Heaven keeps me blind!

I may not wait to know
The secret of the towering mountain height
That makes my little self so small and frail
And bids me rest awhile behind the veil,
Because so far beyond it shines the light
And God would have it so!

I may not wait; I see
The hosts of Righteousness go forth to slay
The armies of a people that would turn
From all that makes man's nobler soul to burn,
And yet I feel as now I take my way
My Immortality!

Finis Coronat Opus

THOUGH I have lived as one whose soul is dead
Nor ever touched my heart-strings to awake.
Some harmony of love that else had fled
From where diviner semblance it might take;
Though I have scorned to hear when there has called
The sterner voice within that bade me rise
And spurn the sloth that held my will enthralled
And veiled my loftier vision to the skies;

This of my slumbering spirit I entreat,
That when I fall and may not rise again,
Or ever this faint heart no more shall beat,
And I have lost the stimulant of pain,
That I some vestige of renown may leave—
Some flower to which posterity may cleave.