Flower of youth, poems in war time/The Temple

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For works with similar titles, see Temple.


What of Louvain and of Rheims
Made for God by man? What then?
Here be temples more than man's
Wrought by God for His own men.

Scattered in the rain and frost,
Marred of beauty, there they be,
Temples of the Holy Ghost,
Broken, ruined piteously.

Bodies all so finely wrought,
Cunning deftness shaped them well;
These, God's ultimate, loving thought
For His Spirit's citadel.

Beautiful from head to foot,
Young, dear darlings all unflawed
For their mother's kiss. What brute
Dares deface the image of God?

Oh, the Temple's down! all marred
Gay and golden boys must lie:
Bitter-sweet as spikenard
Is the old name we called them by.

Hush! God's Temple in its fall
Breaks to set the spirit free
From the golden cage and thrall
Into heaven-winged liberty.

From the cage the bird is flown,
Sings so high above our sphere.
Hush,—be never a sigh or moan:
The fledged bird flies without fear.

All our loves are gathered in,
Every gay and golden lad;
On new raiment, white and clean,
They behold God and are glad.