Gloria The True

by Marietta Holley

Marietta Holley

Gayly a knight set forth against the foe,
For a fair face had shone on him in dreams;
A voice had stirred the silence of his sleep,
"Go win the battle, and I will be thine."

So, for the love of those appealing eyes,
Led by low accents of fair Gloria's voice,
He wound the bugle down his castle's steep,
And gayly rode to battle in the morn.

And none were braver in the tented field,
Like lightning heralding the doomful bolt;
The enemy beheld his snowy plume,
And death-lights flashed along his glancing spear.

But in the lonesome watches of the night,
An angel came and warned him with clear voice,
Against high God his rash right arm was raised,
Was rashly raised against the true, the right.

He strove to drown the angel voice with song
And merry laughter with his princely peers;
But still the angel bade him with clear voice,
"Go join the ranks you rashly have opposed."

"Oh, Angel!" cried he, "they are few and weak,
They may not stand before the press of knights;"
But still the angel bade him with clear voice,
"Go help the weak against the mighty wrong."

At last the words sunk deep within his heart,
With god-like courage cried he out at last,
"Oh, Gloria, beautiful, I can lose thee,
Lose life and thee, to battle for the right."

And when he joined the brave and stalwart ranks,
Like Saul amid his brethren he stood,
Braver and seemlier than all his peers,
And nobly did he battle for the right.

Gentlest unto the weak, and in the fray,
So dauntless, none--no fear of man had he;
He wrought dismay in Error's blackened ranks
So nobly did he battle for the right.

But at the last he lay on a lost field;
Couched on a broken spear, he pallid lay;
With dying lips he murmured Gloria's name,
"The field is lost, and thou art lost to me."

When lo! she stood beside him, pure and fair,
With tender eyes that blessed him as he lay;
And lo! she knelt and clasped his dying hands,
And murmured, "I am thine, am thine at last."

With wondering eyes, he moaned, "All--all is lost,
And I am dying." "Ah, not so," she cried,
"Nothing is lost to him who dare be true;
Who gives his life shall find it evermore."

"Methought I saw the spears beat down like grain,
And the ranks reel before the press of knights;
The level ground ran gory with our wounds;
Methought the field was lost, and then I fell."

"Be calm," she cried, "the right is never lost,
Though spear, and shield, and cross may shattered be,
Out of their dust shall spring avenging blades
That yet shall rid us of some giant wrong.

"And all the blood that falls in righteous cause,
Each crimson drop shall nourish snowy flowers
And quicken golden grain, bright sheaves of good,
That under happier skies shall yet be reaped.

"When right opposes wrong, shall evil win?
Nay, never--but the year of God is long,
And you are weary, rest ye now in peace,
For so He giveth His beloved sleep."

He smiled, and murmured low, "I am content,"
With blissful tears that hid the battle's loss;
So, held to her true heart he closed his eyes,
In quietest rest that ever he had known.

Last updated November 04, 2022