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Palestine: 1917

How strange if it should fall to you,
To me, our boys should do the deed
The great Crusaders failed to do!
To win Christ's Sepulchre: to bleed,
So the immortal dream come true.

What ghosts now throng the Holy Ground,
With rusted armour, dinted sword,
Listening? The earth shakes with the sound;
The wind brings hither a fierce word:
To arms, to arms, Sons of Mahound!

In many a quiet cloister grey
Cross-legged Crusaders, men of stone,
Quiver and stir the Eastward way,
As they would spring up and be gone
To the Great Day, to the Great Day.

Godfrey and Lion-Heart and all
The splendours of the faithful years
Watch our young sons from the Knights' stall,
Ready to clap hands to their spears
If ill befall, if ill befall.

They say: It is the Child's Crusade
Was talked of in our early Spring.
St. George, St. Denis, to their aid!
That was a boy's voice challenging,
Shrill like a bugle, unafraid!

Most wonderful, if your son, my son,
Should win the Holy Thing at last!
The might of Heathenesse be undone,
The strong towers down, the gate unfast,
Lord Christ come to His own, His own.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:01 min read

Katharine Tynan

Katharine Tynan was an Irish-born writer, known mainly for her novels and poetry. more…

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