by Robert Laurence Binyon
We grudged not those that were dearer than all we possessed,
Lovers, brothers, sons.
Our hearts were full, and out of a full heart
We gave our belovèd ones.
Because we loved, we gave. In the hardest hour
When at last--so much unsaid
In the eyes--they went, simply, with tender smile,
Our hearts to the end they read.
They to their deeds! To things that their soul hated,
And yet to splendours won
From smoking hell by the spirit that moved in them:
But we to endure alone.
Their hearts rested on ours; their homing thoughts
Met ours in the still of the night.
We ached with the ache of the long waiting, and throbbed
With the throbs of the surging fight.
O had we failed them, then were we desolate now
And separated indeed.
What should have comforted, what should have helped us then
In the time of our bitter need!
But now, though sorrow be ever fresh, sorrow
Is tender as love; it knows
That of love it was born, and Love with the shining eyes
The hard way chose.
And out of deeps eternal, night and day,
A strength our sorrow frees,
Flooding us, full as the tide up the rivers flows
From the depth of the silent seas;
A strength that is mightier far than we, yet a strength
Whereof our spirit is breath,
Hope of the world, that is strange to hazard and fear,
To the wounds of Time, and Death.
Last updated January 14, 2019