THE naked earth is warm with spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the
suns gaze glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze;
And life is colour and warmth and light,
And a striving
evermore for these;
And he is dead who will not fight;
And who dies fighting has increase.
The fighting man shall from the sun
Take warmth, and life from the glowing earth;
the light-foot winds to run,
And with the trees to newer birth;
And find, when fighting shall be done,
rest, and fullness after dearth.
All the bright company of Heaven
Hold him in their high comradeship,
The Dog-Star, and the
Orions Belt and sworded hip.
The woodland trees that stand together,
They stand to him each one a friend;
speak in the windy weather;
They guide to valley and ridges end.
The kestrel hovering by day,
And the little owls that call by night,
Bid him be swift and keen as
As keen of ear, as swift of sight.
The blackbird sings to him, Brother, brother,
If this be the last song you shall sing,
for you may not sing another;
In dreary, doubtful, waiting hours,
Before the brazen frenzy starts,
The horses show him nobler
O patient eyes, courageous hearts!
And when the burning moment breaks,
And all things else are out of mind,
And only joy of
Him by the throat, and makes him blind,
Through joy and blindness he shall know,
Not caring much to know, that still
Nor lead nor
steel shall reach him, so
That it be not the Destind Will.
The thundering line of battle stands,
And in the air Death moans and sings:
But Day shall
clasp him with strong hands,
And Night shall fold him in soft wings.
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