Tuesday 18 August 2015

The Greater Love

A little while ago our love was strait,
A jealous narrow gate,
And few might pass therein—
We said we loved
More than our own, but were not strangely moved
By others' grief or cowardice or sin
That now our help and pity so entreats.
We saw our young men in the busy streets
And, thinking lightly, troubled not at all
To ask if they were brave
To answer some high call
And shrink not from the menace of the grave.

But lo! the change, the change!—
Our settled thoughts outrange
The bitter, selfish order, old and deep;
We love, we love our men whose hearts are strong,
Their children and their wives who shall not weep
Uncomforted! Great death itself can wrong
Only the poor of heart who faint and fail—
For them we grieve because their love is pale;
They cannot know how mighty it may be,
Nor how it lifts the old,
Who may not take their part in victory,
To see their thoughts of love were close and strait
And that their hearts were cold
Till this great hour set wide that jealous gate.

— Morley Roberts

Reprinted from The Witness, 13 August 1915,
Image: The Second Battle of Ypres, 22 April to 25 May 1915 by Richard Jack. www.warmuseum.ca

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