Farewell, my friendly books;
Farewell, ye woods and streams;
The fate that calls me forward looks
To a duty beyond dreams.
Oh, better to be dead
With a face turned to the sky,
Than live beneath a slavish dread
And serve a giant lie.
Stand up, my heart, and strive
For the things most dear to thee!
Why should we care to be alive
Unless the world is free?
April 20, 1918.
[Reprinted by permission of Charles Scribner's Sons.]
THE DEATH OF PEACE
NOW slowly sinks the day-long labouring Sun
Behind the tranquil trees and old church-tower;
And we who watch him know our day is done;
For us too comes the evening—and the hour.
The sunbeams slanting through those ancient trees,
The sunlit lichens burning on the byre,
The lark descending, and the homing bees,
Proclaim the sweet relief all things desire.
Golden the river brims beneath the west,
And holy peace to all the world is given;
The songless stockdove preens her ruddied breast;
The blue smoke windeth like a prayer to heaven.
O old, old England, land of golden peace,
Thy fields are spun with gossameres of gold,
And golden garners gather thy increase,
And plenty crowns thy loveliness untold.