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Full text of "The fiery cross"

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THE 

FIERY CROSS 



BY 

JOHN OXENHAM 

AUTHOR OF "THE VISION SPLENDID," "ALL'S WELL," 
"BEES IN AMBER," ETC. 





NEW YORK 
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY 



PR 



COPYRIGHT, 1918, 
BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY 



S 



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 



TO 

ALL 

WHO FEEL THE VITAL NEED 

FOR 
A RETURN TO GOD 

AND 

A HIGHER SPIRITUAL LIFE 

THROUGHOUT THE WORLD 

THIS LITTLE BOOK 

IS DEDICATED 
IN PRAYERFUL HOPE 



FORKWORI) 



FOREWORD 

Things spiritual the Master Things the 
only things which in the end really count, have of 
late years b6en sadly outpaced by things material. 
The servants have outrun their Master. We are 
paying for it in suffering such as the world has 
never known. 

Life, the world over, forging swiftly ahead in 
all material matters, has been losing sight of those 
higher claims of the All-Giver, without due recog- 
nition of which all other gain is as dust of the bal- 
ances. 

To use a trite but expressive phrase, "First 
things first" has not of late years been the rule of 
life but instead, second things, third things, 
tenth things ay, and still worse things which had 
no right whatever even to exist. 

More has been done to improve Life's bodily 
conditions than ever before, though still there was 
much that was left undone. But tending the body 
and neglecting the soul is but decking a dying man 
with flowers, pandering to the servant, neglect- 
ing the Master. 

A complete re-adjustment of values and of vi- 
[vii] 



FOR P: WORD 



sion is needed and is needed NOW AT 
ONCE. How is it to come? Who will bring it 
about? 

In olden times, when danger threatened, the 
Scottish clansmen sped the call to arms over hill 
and moor by the Fiery Cross, two charred sticks 
dipped in blood. And every man answered that 
call instantly and to the full, for his life and all 
he held dear were at stake. 

We have seen Life ravished by fire and 
drenched with blood. Do we need a still fierier 
cross than this fierce red flame of War? 

If the world answers The Call, it shall be well 
with it. If it does not . . . Then God have 
mercy upon us, for we shall deserve to the full all 
that will most assuredly befall us. 

God never lacks men when His time is full- 
ripe. If this little book quickens one soul to readi- 
ness for The Call when it comes it will not have 
failed of its object. May it serve His purpose ! 

JOHN OXENHAM 



Iviii] 



CONTENTS 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

FOREWORD vii 

A LITTLE PRAYER xiv 

THE FIERY CROSS 15 

To WHOM SHALL THE WORLD HENCE- 
FORTH BELONG? ..... 17 
THE PRAYER IMMORTAL . . . .' 19 
GREAT AND GREATER . . . . 21 
A LITTLE TE DEUM FOR THOSE WHO 

HAVE LOST .'. .... 23 

FIDEI DEFENSOR . . . . 25 

THE ONE WAY OUT AND UP 26 
IN EVERY MAN . . . . .28 

Two ANGELS. . . \ . f 29 

CEILED HOUSES . . . t 30 

HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE . . 34 

THE RED GATE . . . t 36 

JUST OVER THE HILL AND UP ALONG . 37 

THE LITTLE HOUSE OF BREAD , , 39 

A PRAYER FOR ENLARGEMENT . . , 41 

Ex TENEBRIS r<i . ^ ^ , 42 

THE PADRE'S STORY . . . . 45 

Is IT WELL WITH THE LAD? 48 

PER ARDURA AD ASTRA . . f % 50 

[ix] 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

A LITTLE PRAYER FOR THE MAN IN THE 

Am . . . . . . ^ . 52 

OVER THE PARAPET . ... . S3 

COCK YOUR BONNETS f . . . . 54 

THE SACRAMENT OF FOOD ... 56 

THE SACRAMENT OF FIRE ... 57 

THE SACRAMENT OF WORK ... 59 

THE SACRAMENT OF SLEEP ... 60 

THE SACRAMENT OF LOVE ... 62 

FOR You AND ME .... 64 

HEROES' WIVES ..... 65 

THE WORD THAT WAS NOT SAID . . 67 

A LITTLE TE DEUM FOR WOMANHOOD . 69 

THE SECRET PLACE .... 71 

MY GUEST ...... 72 

THE VISION 74 

GRACE ROBES 88 

THE HIGH CALL 89 

NEIGHBOURS 91 

THE DAYS 92 

FATHER-MOTHERHOOD .... 94 

THE KEY 95 

His DWELLING-PLACE . . 96 

I GOD AM! 97 

DlMPSEY ON THE MOOR go 

WHY? . . . I I I02 

NATALICIA IO 3 

LIFE AND LIFE . I0 6 

W 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

LIVE CHRIST! 108 

BREAK DOWN THE WALLS . . .no 
"To MEN OF GOOD-WILL PEACE!" . 112 
WHERE CHRIST Is BORN AGAIN . . 114 
FAIR RAIMENT . . . . .115 
DEMOS Is IN THE SADDLE . . .116 

RETURN! 117 

LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR . . . .120 
ONLY A STRETCHER-BEARER . . .122 
GIVER OF ALL GOOD . . . .124 

CAIN! 125 

MY TREASURE . . . . .126 

SALVAGE 128 

So LITTLE AND So MUCH . . .129 
SOME LITTLE WHILES . . . .130 

LIFE AND DEATH 131 

BENEDICTION 132 



[xi] 



9 little 



Where'er thou be, 
On land or sea, 
Or in the air, 
This little prayer 
I pray for thee, 
God keep thee ever, 
Day and night, 
Face to the light, 
Thine armour bright, 
Thy 'scutcheon white, 
That no despight 
Thine honour smite! 
With infinite 
Sweet oversight, 
God keep thee ever, 
Heart's delight! 
And guard thee whole, 
Sweet body, soul, 
And spirit high ; 
That, live or die, 
Thou glorify 
His Majesty; 
And ever be, 
Within His sight, 
His true and upright, 
Sweet and stainless, 
Pure and sinless, 
Perfect Knight! 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE FIERY CROSS 

The wayward world has nailed itself 

On its own cross of woe; 

With its own hands it hewed the wood, 

It dyed the rood with its own blood, 

And then, with vicious blow, 

Drove home the nails that it had cast, 

Through its own flesh, and made them 

fast; 
It dug the pit below. 

But every cross new meaning holds, 

Since such sweet virtue came 

Of Calvary; and though mankind 

Still wanders graceless, deaf and blind 

To his own bitter shame, 

Yet, by God's grace, he shall arise 

From this dread cross of sacrifice 

To set all Life aflame. 

For 

The Fiery Cross is speeding forth 
To the purging of men's lives. 
[15] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE FIERY CROSS (continued) 

Christ bears it through the troubled earth, 

To quicken Life to nobler birth, 

To break the ancient gyves; 

His love flames in the Fiery Cross, 

Sorting the pure gold from the dross, 

And from their sin men shrives. 

Speed on, speed on, the Fiery Cross 
For the kindling of men's souls ! 
The Powers of 111 have had their day, 
They broke Life on the rough red way, 
They levied bitter tolls. 
But now God's torch is blazing bright, 
Wrong lies beneath the heel of Rights 
And men seek nobler goals. 



[16] 



THK FIKHY CROSS 



TO WHOM SHALL THE WORLD HENCE- 
FORTH BELONG? 

To whom shall the world henceforth belong, 
And who shall go up and possess it? 

To the Great-Hearts the Strong 

Who will suffer no wrong, 

And where they find evil redress it. 

To the Men of Bold Sight, 
Whose souls, seised of Light, 
Found a work to be done and have done it. 

To the Valiant who fought 

For a soul-lifting thought, 

Saw the fight to be won and have won it. 

To the Men of Great Mind 

Set on lifting their kind, 

Who, regardless of danger, will do it. 

To the Men of Goodwill, 
Who would cure all Life's ill, 
And whose passion for peace will ensue it. 
[17] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



TO WHOM SHALL THE WORLD HENCE- 
FORTH BELONG? (continued) 

To the Men who will bear 

Their full share of Life's care, 

And will rest not till wrongs be all righted. 

To the Stalwarts who toil 

'Mid the seas of turmoil, 

Till the Haven of Safety be sighted. 

To the Men of Good Fame 
Who everything claim 
This world and the next in their Mas- 
ter's great name; 

To these shall the world henceforth be- 
long, 

And they shall go up and possess it; 

Overmuch, overlong, has the world suf- 
fered wrong, 

We are here by God's help to redress it. 



[18] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE PRAYER IMMORTAL 

"Thy Kingdom come, 
Thy Will be done." 

Never since Time began 

Has mortal man 

Had sorer need to pray that prayer immortal. 

For ne'er before has Death's grim door 

Its gaping portal flung so wide, 

Nor man so gallantly defied 

His menace, and so vastly died; 

Never has life so racked and tortured been, 

Nor earth such deadly exigencies seen. 

And that full prayer of prayers 

In its divine simplicities 

Fills all the heights and depths 

Of our necessities. 

Granted in full it would bring Earth 

To Heaven, and unto Life new birth. 



So to your knees 

And, with your heart and soul, pray God 

That wars may cease, 

r-*f\^ 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE PRAYER IMMORTAL (continued) 

And earth, by His good will, 
Through these rough ways, find peace ! 

"Thy Kingdom cornel 
And, as in heaven, 
On earth Thy Will be done!" 



[20] 



TIIK KIKK'Y CKOSS 



GREAT AND GREATER 

Within the great a greater still I see, 

Within this grim world-strife 

The struggle of a menaced Life 

With godless tyranny, 

The travail of a new-born Life 

For its epiphany. 

So, in this strife I see the greater strife,- 
Man's soul at grips with 111, 
And presage of a nobler life 
Close-wedded to Thy Will; 
The coming of a sweeter life 
Which nought on earth shall kill. 

Within this great there still a greater is, 
And he sets all things free, 
Death, the Emancipator is, 
And, through this death-strife, we 
Shall win the life that greater is, 
And Life's security. 

Not on the flaming fields across the seas 
Alone, this fight for God's supremacies 
[21] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



GREAT AND GREATER (continued) 

But in the hearts of men throughout the 

world 

His banner is at last unfurled, 
And from their thrones the Powers of III, 
By the whole world's united will t 
'Are being hurled. 



[22] 



TIIK FIKKV CROSS 



A LITTLE TE DEUM FOR THOSE WHO 
HAVE LOST 

For manly courage under grievous loss; 
For faith of woman bowed beneath her 

cross; 
For Hope that bravely glowed 'neath 

stormy skies; 

For Love that suffered untold agonies 
With saintly fortitude, and, tempest-tost 
And sore bestead, yet never lost 
Her hold on God, and His high promises; 
For noble deeds as simple duty done, 
In their Christlikeness known to God alone; 
For high heroic bearing under stress; 
For hearts that no ill-fortune could depress; 
For every helpful word and kindly deed 
That found occasion in its brother's need ; 
For that Brute Force is from its saddle 

hurled, 
And that the sword no more can rule the 

world ; 

For growth of wisdom in this mire of war, 
[23] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



A LITTLE TE DEUM FOR THOSE WHO 
HAVE LOST (continued) 

Which leaves Thee more than ever Con- 
queror; 

For that the world has found its soul again, 
And set its heel upon this curse of Cain; 
For that Thy Justice is again restored, 
And War as arbiter henceforth abhorred ; 
For that the dear lives were not given in 

vain, 

Despite the anguish of our loss and pain, 
We thank Thee, Lord! 
We thank Thee, Lord! 



[24] 



THK FIKi;V CROSS 



FIDEI DEFENSOR 

Gone! in the unutterable splendour 

Of your immortal youth ! 

Gone unto Him who made, and making, gave 

you 

Passion for Truth; 
Made you heart-bold to brave the wroth 
Of this world's evil; 
Made you soul-strong to face the Devil, 
And to suffer ruth, 
Yea and in very sooth, that final ruth 
Which yet shall give you back 
Your here-lost youth. 

Gone ! unto Him who, making, made of you, 

In all the glowing splendour of your youth, 

One more high-souled defender of His Truth. 

To your dear memory we render 

Deepest soul-homage; 

And unto Him unceasing praise ! 

To Him of all men's souls 

The Great All-Wise Dispenser, 9 

Unceasing praise, for you, 

Our Fidei Defensor! 

[25] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE ONE WAY OUT AND UP 

One thing, and one thing only shall avail 

To lift the earth from out this sore travail 

By folly wrought, and selfishness, and sin ; * 

One thing alone and that within 

Our compassing if but we will. 

It rests with us, and good, or ill, 

Shall be our lot as we ourselves destine. 

^CHOOSE YE THIS DAY WHOM YE WILL 
SERVE 1" 

God or those other gods of your own choos- 
ing, 

Whom erst ye served to your souls' bitter los- 
ing. 

MAMMON OR GOD? ... ye cannot serve them 
both. 

That way ye tried, forsaking your God-troth; 

And now ... ye bear the ruth. 

God waits, has waited long still waits; 

Each dawn His promise He reiterates, 

And down the long dim corridors of Time 

His word reverberates, 
[26] 



TH:-: FIKKY CKOSS 



THE ONE WAY OUT AND UP (continued) 

"CHOOSE YE THIS DAY!'* 

From our own wilful way 

He calls us back, 

And promises again this day 

That no soul based on Him shall suffer lack. 

Here the Ways part, 
That climbing road 
Leads up to God, 
This easier way 
Leads down to death, 
And ruin, and decay. 

"CHOOSE YE THIS DAY!" 
And choose ye carefully, 
For as ye now shall say 
So shall it with you be 
In that Great Day. 



[27] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



IN EVERY MAN 

In every soul of all mankind 
Somewhat of Christ I find, 

Somewhat of Christ and thee; 
For in each one there surely dwells 
That something which most surely spells 

Life's immortality. 

Beclouded oft, and oft obscure, 
In peril oft of forfeiture, 
And lost in many a plicature, 

Yet in each one there is 
Such hope of soul-recoveries, 
Such grace of soul-discoveries, 
That in each life the seed there lies 

Of high immortal destinies. 

And so, for love of Christ and thee, 
I will not cease to seek and find, 

In all mankind, 
That hope of immortality 
Which dwells so sacramentally 

In Christ and thee. 
[28] 



TIIK KIKKV CROSS 



TWO ANGELS 

Two angels walk the earth to-day, 
Each bearing in his hand 
The symbol of his ministry, 
And does his Lord's command. 

One bears a mighty two-edged sword, 
And wounds Life to the death ; 
The other bears Christ's holy chrism, 
And the wounded comforteth. 

So, side by side, they walk the earth 

For the purging of men's souls; 

One gives, through Death, Life's nobler 

birth, 
The other Life consoles. 



[29] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



CEILED HOUSES 
A MESSAGE FOR THESE TIMES 

( Two thousand five hundred years ago Haggai 
delivered this message. It has been on the way 
ever since, and is as much needed to-day as it was 
then. Conditions alter. Facts and results unfor- 
tunately remain the same. The world must bear 
its load until it learns its lesson.) 

"What are these ceiled houses?" 
Asked the Prophet coldly, 
His eyes like smouldering fires, 
And the people answered boldly, 
"These be our houses, Man of God, 
The houses where we dwell." 
"And these half-builded walls?" 
And they answered, timorous-boldly, 
"That is the Lord's house, waiting safer times 
To finish building. . . . 
We have had so much to do ... 
Our flocks to tend, our crops to rear, 
Our wives and little ones to guard and cherish, 

[30] 



THK FIKKY CROSS 



CEILED HOUSES (continued) 

Our cities to repair, 

And all overburdened with the care 

Of foes against us everywhere." 

Then flamed the God within him, 

"Is this a time to hap yourselves in comfort, 

And the Lord's house still unbuilt? 

THUS SAITH THE LORD, 

Consider now your ways ! 

Hard you have toiled and builded for your- 
selves, 

Each man of you has toiled and builded for 
himself; 

Early and late you toiled and builded for 
yourselves, 

And yet you have not prospered. 

Much have you sown and yet have little 
reaped, 

Much have you eaten but were hungry still, 

Much drunk yet were not filled, 

Much clothing worn but yet were never warm, 

And that you earned you put in bags with holes. 

You looked for much, and little came of it. 

And why? 

Because of this Mine House left desolate ! 

Hard have you toiled but not for ME; 
[31] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



CEILED HOUSES (continued) 

Much have you cared but not for ME; 
And so because you left ME out of it, 
Lo, I have blown upon your work 
And brought it all to nought. 
Consider now your ways I" 

Then did that people take God's word to heart 
And turned again to Him ; 
And He abode with them and prospered them. 


AND UNTO us HE SAYS, 

Ay, you have built to Me most wondrously, 

But yet your hearts you turned away from Me, 

And followed other gods. 

And I have prospered you most bounteously, 

But yet your hearts you turned away from Me, 

And followed other gods. 

Wealth, Pleasure, Power, Ease, and baser 

things, 

These were your gods. 
And so I blew upon your work 
And brought it low. 
For I, God, am a jealous God; 
Yea, I am very jealous for your good. 
[32] 



THK FIKK'V rKOSS 



CEILED HOUSES (continued) 

Ye cannot serve these other gods and Me; 
Consider now your ways! 
And choose this day whom ye will serve, 
Your self-made gods or Me 1 



[33] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE 

Lilac and laburnum blooming, 

Full of Spring's immortal vigour, 

Big guns booming; Hell shells spuming; 

Life still gripped with Death's fell rigour ;- 
Man proposes, God disposes; 
Yet our hope in Him reposes 
Who in war-time still makes roses. 

Bridal grace of pear and apple, 
Summer snows from orchard trees, 

Sons of God in deathly grapple, 

Life in direst agonies; 

Man proposes, God disposes; 
Yet our hope in Him reposes 
Who in war-time still makes roses. 

Chestnuts 1 sweet up-pointing spires, 
On one tree a thousand churches, 

Crater-holes and hell's hot fires; 
Flaming hate God's fair face smirches; 
[34] 



THK K1KKY CROSS 



HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE (continued) 

Man proposes, God disposes; 
Yet our hope in Him reposes 
Who in war-time still makes roses. 

Forget-me-not and pansy sweet, 
Nestling all along the border, 

Death's raw bones the red drums beat, 
God's fair world is in disorder; 

Man proposes, God disposes; 
Yet our hope in Him reposes 
Who in war-time still makes roses. 

Dandelion, mayflower, daisy, 
Gemming every emerald meadow, 

Man's devices, crude and crazy, 
Brought Life to this ambuscado, 

Man proposes, God disposes; 
Yet our hope in Him reposes 
Who in war-time still makes roses. 



[35] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE RED GATE 

Some, by the dread Red Gate, 

Have found their souls; 

All, soon or late, 

Have reached their goals; 

All have found Life, though Fate 

To some gave death, which yet 

Is but the Opened Gate 

To Life Emancipate. 



[36] 



TIIK FIKKY CROSS 



JUST OVER THE HILL AND UP ALONG 

Just over the hill, by the climbing way, 
Is a place where all good travellers stay, 
Just over the hill and up along. 

At the side of the road is a garden gate, 
Which is always open, early and late, 
Just over the hill and up along. 

And inside the gate is a House of Rest, 
Where the Host will give you his very best, 
Just over the hill and up along. 

He will meet you and greet you with out- 
stretched hand, 

And, whatever your tongue, he will under- 
stand, 
Just over the hill and up along. 

You will find in the house a table spread 
With a chalice of wine and Broken Bread, 
Just over the hill and up along. 
[37] 



Till: KIKK'Y CROSS 



JUST OVER THE HILL AND UP ALONG (con- 
tinued ) 

He will tell while you eat, and when you have 

fed 

He will put you to sleep in a restful bed, 
Just over the hill and up along. 

You will sleep full sweet; you will dream good 

dreams, 
You will wake to the joy of the Morning 

Beams, 
And then you will go in the strength of the 

strong, 
And press up and on with a glad good song, 

Right over the hill and up along. 



[38] 



T1IK I ll-KY CROSS 



THE LITTLE HOUSE OF BREAD 

O, little Home of Peace and Perfect Calm, 
O, little, still, white, sacramental place, 
Filled with the mystic effluence of His grace, 
Which makes of thee a healing and a balm; 

Happed in a hollow of the great moor's breast, 
Of undrest stone, with red-heart roses drest, 
Haven of rest for every soul sore pressed, 
Thine own sweet soul of quietness possessed : 

God surely loves thee, little House of Prayer, 
Nor ever fails the soul that seeks Him there; 
No matter what his sore predicament, 
No matter what the burden of his pain, 
No troubled soul has ever healing sought 
But here he found divine medicament, 
Losing himself has won the greater gain, 
And, by his giving, nobler treasure bought. 

Here in the silence you confess your sin, 
And holy ministrants, unheard, unseen, 
Beneath the red lamp softly whisper you 
New hope, no matter what the past has been. 
[39] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE LITTLE HOUSE OF BREAD (continued) 

Here some have knelt before departing hence 
For the Red Fronts, and have upbuilded been 
With new-born Faith's most lofty confidence, 
To face the High Call of the Unforeseen : 
In weakness some, and some in penitence, 
But all in highest, holiest reverence. 

Here, in this altar book, are shrined the names 
Of those True Knights God-pledged to purity, 
Unceasing prayer their troth to honour claims, 
And from high heaven their souls' security. 
God surely loves thee, little House of Bread, 
For here the seeking soul to Him is led, 
And on His Living Bread 

The hungry soul is fed. 



[40] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



A PRAYER FOR ENLARGEMENT 

Shrive me of all my littleness and sin ! 
Open your great heart wide! 
Open it wide and take me in, 
For the sake of Christ who died! 

Was I grown small and strait? 
Then shalt thou make me wide. 
Through the love of Christ who died, 
Thou thou shalt make me great. 



[41] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



EX TENEBRIS 
THE LAY OF THE KNIGHT WHO ROSE AGAIN 

Take away my rags ! 
Take away my sin I 
Strip me all bare 
Of that I did wear, 
The foul rags, the base rags, 
The rude and the mean I 
Strip me, yea, strip me 
Right down to the skin! 
Strip me all bare 
Of that I have been ! 
Then wash me in water, 
In fair running water, 
Wash me without, 
And wash me within, 
In fair running water, 
In fresh running water, 
Wash me, ah wash me, 
And make me all clean! 
Clean of the soilure 
And clean of the sin, 
[42] 



TIIK FM.IiV CROSS 



EX TENEBRIS (continued) 

Clean of the soul-crushing 

Sense of defilure, 

Clean of the old self 

And clean of the sin ! 

In fair running water, 

In fresh running water, 

In sun-running water, 

All sweet and all pure, 

Wash me, ah wash me, 

And I shall be clean ! 

And then ah then 
Clothe me again 
In the garments of Light, 
In the robes of Thy ruth, 
In Purity, Truth, 
In raiment all white 
And whiter than light, 
In the raiment ensanguine 
That outshines the Light, 
In garments washed clean 
In the Grace Infinite ! 
Then vest me with armour, 
And name me Thy Knight, 
And gird me with Justice, 
[43] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



EX TENEBRIS (continued) 

And arm me with Right! 

And there in the battle 

Of souls I will fight, 

With the passionate zeal 

Of a heart all contrite. 

And I'll win Thee fair Kingdoms, 

Many Kingdoms, great Kingdoms,- 

Sweet Kingdoms of Light, 

I will win from the Night, 

To the Glory of God 

And my Lord's high delight. 



[44] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE PADRE'S STORY 

He came to me in my small tent, 
Quite late one night, 
The night before the red-hot Vimy fight, 
And his concern was evident. 

"Padre," he said, 
Fey-eyed and anxiously, 
"To-morrow we go in. 
And I'm a coward, I'm afraid. 
Yes, I'm afraid to die. 
I've lived so light and carelessly, you sec, 
And now perhaps Death waits for me 
Just over there. 

This time to-morrow I may lie there dead. 
Can you say anything to buck me up 
And make a man of me? 
Tell me about things. Tell me all; 
Of death and after. If you can, 
Fit me to meet the call 
And play the man!" 
I told him as I would a child, 
Of God, and Christ the Father's love,- 
[45] 



Till: FlKIxY CROSS 



THE PADRE'S STORY (continued) 

The wondrous Father-Motherhood 
That longs for all men's good, 
Of the great joys above the bliss 
Of that new life for those 
Who strive their best in this ; 
The simplest, highest things, 
To him, the greatest. 
And he listened eagerly, 
Fey-eyed and anxiously. 

And then we knelt. 

I said a little prayer, 

Commending him to God; 

And as we knelt, I felt 

God with us there, and new life in the boy. 

"Padre," he said, when I had done, 

"The fear has gone. 

I see it all. 

Now I can face the call, 

And if it's death, my dying may atone 

For some of those things I'd best not have 

done. 

God bless you, sir, you've made a man 
Of me, and if I die I'll prove me one. 
[46] 



THK I-'IKIvV CKOSS 



THE PADRE'S STORY (continued) 

From all you say this doesn't end it all, 
And now, 

Through God and you, I'm strong to meet 
the Call." 

In the dim dawn they went, 

And some came back. . . . 

Him everywhere I sought, 

But found him not, 

Nor any who could tell 

What him befell. 

But this I know, 

Whatever his fate, 

He did his duty, 

Died, if he died, 

In the knowledge of God's beauty . . 

And the rest can wait. 



[47] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



IS IT WELL WITH THE LAD? 

"Is it well with the lad?" 



It is well! 

Yea, it is well! 

But for us who are left, 

Heart-hungry, bruised of soul, bereft, 

Our branching hope at one stroke cleft 

From off the parent tree, 

We hardly bear our discontent, 

Or come to full acknowledgment 

Of Love we deem omnipotent 

Which yet can suffer patiently 

Such things to be. 

Yea, and although, 

Deep in our hidden souls, we know 

That with him all is well, 

That nothing we could e'er have done for 

him 
Can equal this which Death has won for 

him, 
That nothing earth could e'er have given to 

him 

[48] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



IS IT WELL WITH THE LAD? (continued) 

Can come anigh the joys of heaven to him,- 

Yet still, the mortal in us 

Craves him mortally; 

And nought shall stay 

That craving till, on some bright day, 

We too shall slip the clinging clay 

And find him there awaiting us 

Upon the heavenly way. 



[49] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



PER ARDUA AD ASTRA 

Lift me, O God, above myself, 
Above my highest spheres, 
Above the thralling things of sense 
To clearer atmospheres. 

Lift me above the little things, 
My poor sufficiencies, 
My perverse will, my lack of zeal, 
My inefficiencies; 

Above the earth-born need that gropes, 
With foolish hankerings, 
About earth's cumbered lower slopes 
For earthly garnerings. 

Above the vanities and cates 
Of the Forbidden Land; 
Above the passions and the hates 
That flame there hand in hand. 

Lift me, O God, above myself, 
Above these lesser things, 
[50] 



THK FIF.KY CROSS 



PER ARDUA AD ASTRA (continued) 

Above my little gods of clay, 
And all their capturings. 

And grant my soul a glad new birth, 
And fledge it strong new wings, 
That it may soar above the earth 
To nobler prosperings. 

Lift me, O God, above myself, 
That, in Thy time and day, 
I somewhat grace Thy festerings 
And climb Thy loftier Way. 



[51] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



A LITTLE PRAYER FOR THE MAN IN 
THE AIR 

I never hear 

The growling diapason of a plane 

Up there, 

The deep reverb'rant humming of a plane 

Up there, 

But up to God I wing a little prayer, 

Begging His care 

For him who braves the dangers of the air. 

"God keep you, Bird-man, in your plane 
Up there ! 

Your wings upbear, your heart sustain! 
Give you good flight and oversight, 
And bring you safe to earth again !" 

I, too, have hostages with fortune up above, 
And what may come to you may come to 

mine. 
So, once again, "God speed you as you 

rove! 

Both you and mine to His care I consign." 
[52] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



OVER THE PARAPET 

Over the parapet and beyond, 

No Man's Land and Bloody Pond, 

Over the parapet at last, 

Death and Life an equal cast, 

Over the parapet we climb, 

Out of the stinking mud and slime, 

Over to life; over to death, 

Over and on while we have breath. 

We have waited and waited for this hour, 

Sick of having to crawl and cower, 

And now we'll show the Boches what 

It means to tackle the Kiltie lot. 

Over we go ! if we don't come back 

It's because we've taken the longer track, 

That ends for all good soldier-men 

In a better place, beyond our ken. 

Over we go ! we have had the Call, 

We'll meet again, boys, one and all, 

We'll meet somewhere and we'll meet 

somewhen, 

We will every one of us meet again ; 
We will all keep tryst in what is beyond 
No Man's Land and Bloody Pond. 
[53] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



COCK YOUR BONNETS! 

(Messines was the first fight the London Scot- 
tish, just out from home, had been in, their bap- 
tism of fire, and a very hot one. They lost heavily 
but won through with honour. My own boy was 
then training in the 2nd Battalion. He came out 
with a draft to fill up the gaps a little later.) 

It was after that black night 

When we'd won our first bit fight, 

In the shadow of the pump-mill at Messines, 

That a Brass-Head came and prattled 

To us, feeling pretty rattled 

With the things we'd done, and more with 

what we'd seen ; 
And he said, 

"Boys, keep your bodies clean ! 

Boys, keep your billets clean ! 

Boys, cock your bonnets ! 

And, for God's sake, smile !" 

And it bucked us up tremendous, 
For the Boche had tried to end us, 
[54] 



HKKY CROSS 



COCK YOUR BONNETS! (continued) 

Though we'd given him double dose for all 

we got; 

And we'd gone through our probation, 
And we'd saved a situation, 
And the Big Pot put his finger on the spot; 
With his,- 

"Boys, keep your bodies clean! 

Boys, keep your billets clean ! 

Boys, cock your bonnets ! 

And, for God's sake, smile 1" 

So we pass it on to you chaps ; 
When you're some fed up with new scraps, 
Just remember what that good old Brass- 
Head said. 

You will find it worth your trying, 
Both while living and when dying, 
And you'll surely be the happier when you're 

dead, 
If you, 

Always keep your bodies clean, 
Always keep your billets clean, 
Always cock your bonnets, 
And, for God's sake, smile. 



[55] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE SACRAMENT OF FOOD 

Each meal should be a sacramental feast, 
A Eucharist each breaking of the bread, 
Wherein we meet again our Great High Priest, 
And pledge new troth to our exalted Head. 

For all we eat doth come of sacrifice, 
Life out of Death, since all we eat must yield 
Life for our living, and yet, nothing dies, 
But in its giving finds its life fulfilled. 

The wheat, the plant, the beast, and man, all 

give 

Each of their best, God's purpose to maintain, 
And all subserve the end for which all live, 
And pass, to live more worthily again. 

[NOTE. This appeared in The Vision Splendid, but to keep 
these sacraments together it is reprinted here.] 



[56] 



THH FIKKY Ch'nSS 



THE SACRAMENT OF FIRE 

Kneel always when you light a fire I 
Kneel reverently, and thankful be 
For God's unfailing charity, 
And on the ascending flame inspire 
A little prayer, that shall upbear 
The incense of your thankfulness 
For this sweet grace 
Of warmth and light ! 
For here again is sacrifice 
For your delight. 

Within the wood, 
That lived a joyous life 
Through sunny days and rainy days 
And winter storms and strife; 
Within the peat, 
That drank the sweet, 
The moorland sweet 

Of bracken, whin, and sweet bell-heather, 
And knew the joy of gold gorse feather 
Flaming like Love in wintriest weather, 
While snug below, in sun and snow, 
157] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE SACRAMENT OF FIRE (continued) 

It heard the beat of the padding feet 

Of foal and dam, and ewe and lamb, 

And the stamp of old bell-wether; 

Within the coal, 

Where forests lie entombed, 

Oak, elm, and chestnut, beech, and red 

pine bole; 

God shrined His sunshine, and enwombed 
For you these stores of light and heat, 
Your life-joys to complete. 
These all have died that you might live; 
Yours now the high prerogative 
To loose their long captivities, 
And through these new activities 
A wider life to give. 

Kneel always when you light a fire! 

Kneel reverently, 

And grateful be 

For God's unfailing charity I 



[58] 



TIIK FIKK'Y < 1,'oss 



THE SACRAMENT OF WORK 

Upon thy bended knees, thank God for work, 
Work once man's penance, now his high re- 
ward! 

For work to do, and strength to do the work, 
We thank Thee, Lord! 

Since outcast Adam toiled to make a home, 

The primal curse a blessing has become, 

Man in his toil finds recompense for loss, 

A workless world had known nor Christ nor Cross. 

Some toil for love, and some for simple greed, 
Some reap a harvest past their utmost need, 
More, in their less find truer happiness, 
And all, in work, relief from bitterness. 

A toiler with His hands was God's own Son; 
Like His, to Him be all thy work well done. 
None so forlorn as he that hath no work, 
None so abject as he that work doth shirk. 

Upon thy bended knees, thank God for work ! 
In workless days all ills and evils lurk. 
For work to do, and strength to do the work, 
We thank Thee, Lord I 
[59] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE SACRAMENT OF SLEER 

Thank God for sleep! 

And, when you cannot sleep, 

Still thank Him that you live 

To lie awake. 

And pray Him, of His grace, 

When He sees fit, sweet sleep to give, 

That you may rise, with new-born eyes, 

To look once more into His shining face. 

In sleep, limbs all loose-laxed and slipt the 

chains 
We draw sweet-close to Him from whom our 

breath 

Has life. In His sole hands we leave the reins, 
In fullest faith trust Him for life or death. 
This sleep in life close kinsman is to death; 
And, as from sleep we wake to greet the day, 
So, too, from death we shall with joy awake 
To greet the glories of the Great Essay. 

To His beloved healing sleep He gives, 
And, unto all, awakening from sleep. 

[60] 



TIIK FIERY CROSS 



THE SACRAMENT OF SLEEP (continued) 

Each day is resurrection, a new birth 

To nearer heaven and re-created earth, 

To all Life's possibilities of good 

Or ill, with joys and woes endued, 

Till that last, shortest sleep of all, 

And that first great awakening from Life's thrall. 

Thank God for sleep ! 

And, when you cannot sleep, 

Still thank Him for the grace 

That lets you live 

To feel the comfort of His soft embrace. 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE SACRAMENT OF LOVE 

Love is the sacrament of sacraments; 

For God is Love, and Love is God; 

Who loves knows Him, and in Him all the heights 

And depths of those high rapturous delights 

Which for Love's soul are very soul of life, 

And through the troubled ways, through stress 

and strife, 

Bear the soul upward to that final goal 
Where Life and Love make one full-rounded 

whole. 

Love tints the grayest life with rose; 
Love kindles fires 'mid winter snows. 

Love draws the fallen from his sin; 
Love helps the sinner grace to win. 

Love lifts the fringes of the night; 
Love gifts the eyes of Faith with sight 

Love to all loveliness is kin ; 
Love moulds all Life, without, within. 

[62] 



THK HKK'Y Ch'OSS 



THE SACRAMENT OF LOVE (continued) 

Love is the mightiest power on earth; 
Love to Eternal Hope gives birth. 

Love the Beginning and the End 
All life and death doth comprehend. 

Love lived in Death upon the Tree; 
Love lives again, for you and me. 

Love through eternity endures, 

For God is Love, 

And Love is God. 

Thank God for Love, His first, then yours! 



[63] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



FOR YOU AND ME 

Some man has died out there to-day 
For you and me, 
Died in heart-wracking agony, maybe, 
For you and me. 
So of your charity 
A prayer ! 

A deep, abounding, all-sufficing prayer 
For all his past, his present, and a fu- 
ture fair 

For him who died out there to-day, 
For you and me. 

And if your prayer transmute itself 

To some good work for those he left be- 
hind, 

Their sense of loss, with yours of gain en- 
twined, 

Shall make life fairer for you both, 

For therein you shall find, 

Both you and they, in very truth, 

Riching of heart and mind. 



[64] 



TIIK KIKIi'V ri.'OSS 



HEROES' WIVES 

TO THE DEAR LITTLE WAR-WlDOWS ALL THE 
WORLD OVER 

Be worthy of your noble dead, 
So shall your hearts be comforted ! 
They yielded all, their lives, and you, 
At Duty's call to dare and do; 
Brave thought of them shall lift your lives 
To heights befitting heroes' wives, 
Like them to answer Duty's call 
And live the life heroical. 

Just wedded, childless, lonelier still 
Than if you had not known the joys 
Of God's sweet sacramental seal 
Upon the union of your choice? 
And on in front a long gray way 
Without one single cheering ray? 
Dear Heart, your love is nearer now 
Than when, that day, with solemn vow, 
.You did yourselves on each bestow, 
And each with each did all endow, 
[65] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



HEROES' WIVES (continued) 

For life or death, for good or ill, 
As God should see most suitable. 
Now he is near you, night and day, 
His love shall tinge with rose the gray, 
And gracing time with goodly deed 
You shall at last reap your full meed 
Of nobler joy, and find that pain 
Will blossom into heavenly gain. 

He is not lost who goes before, 

But, standing in the Open Door, 

He waits you there with outstretched 

hands, 
Love's dearest, best ambassador. 



[66] 



TIIK HI:I;Y CKOSS 



THE WORD THAT WAS NOT SAID 

( To those parents, the world over, through 
lihose criminal neglect of the due and rightful in- 
struction of their children in those simple matters 
of sex which so vitally affect their future welfare, 
the moral and physical substance of the race is be- 
ing wasted this word of warning.) 

For lack of that due word, 

You sent him forth to face the deadly strife 

Which men call life, 

Unarmed, unarmoured, unprepared for fight, 

And yet expected him to keep his 'scutcheon 

white ! 

Yours the reproach if he should miss the way, 
For you of your full duty failed him mortally. 

For lack of that due word f 
You sent her out unwarned of the sore strait 
That may await 

The trustful maid untaught the world's allure. 
You trusted Fate her safety to assure, 
[67] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE WORD THAT WAS NOT SAID (continued) 

Nor took the trouble to unseal her eyes 
To the dim downward trend of life's high mys- 
teries. 

For lack of that due word, 

They two have slipped and fallen into sin. 

They had kept clean 

Had you your duty done and shown the truth 

Of Life's deep menace to untutored youth. 

Now is the greater sin upon your head, 

For you it was that left that saving word unsaid 



[88] 



TIIK F1KRV CROSS 



A LITTLE TE DEUM FOR WOMAN- 
HOOD* 

We thank Thee, Lord, for Thy sweet Heart of 

Grace 

Revealed in womanhood in these black days; 
For her high courage under bitter stress; 
For her new spheres of wondrous usefulness; 
For her heroic fortitude in loss; 
For her most patient bearing of her cross; 
For her high seizure of the times 1 dire needs; 
For her sweet sum of self-denying deeds; 
For her self-adaptation to the claims 
Of these new days ; for the relinquished aims 
Which yet mature in unexpected guise 
Through her success in nobler enterprise; 
For all the Christliness of gentle hands 
Which soothe the passage of the running sands; 
For grace of heart and life and winning face, 
To young lives broken in the fiery race ; 
For all her ministry to days and nights 
Of ceaseless pain that gnaws and saps and blights; 
For that high soul of pure white womanhood 
Which lifts man towards the Father-Motherhood; 

[69] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



A LITTLE TE DEUM FOR WOMANHOOD 
(continued) 

For saintly lives whose days and nights are prayer 
For wayfarers awander in life's snare; 
For that White Fire of Love that welcomes all, 
And turns with quick response to every call ; 
For chivalry in woman as in man, 
Whereof comes comradeship Saturnian; 
For every widening of her gracious sphere; 
For her true instinct and her insight clear; 
For that God-given wisdom of the heart 
That sees below and takes the sinner's part; 
For all that woman has been, is, may be; 
Heart-thanks and praise we render, Lord, to 

Thee; 

For every strand in that sweet golden cord; 
For every note in that sweet complex chord ; 

We thank Thee, thank Thee, thank Thee, 
Lord/ 



[70] 



THK FIKKV U;nss 



THE SECRET PLACE 

Each soul has its own secret place, 
Where none may enter in, 
Save it and God, to them alone 
What goeth on therein is known, 
To it and God alone. 

And well for it if God be there, 
And in supreme control; 
For every deed comes of a seed, 
And lonely seed may evil breed 
In any lonely soul. 

But none, except of his own will, 
Need ever lonely be ; 
If he but quest, his Royal Guest 
Will quick provide him with the best 
Of all good Company. 



[71] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



MY GUEST 

Within my holy place 

My Chiefest One is dwelling, 

Not as a passing guest 

But of His own houseling. 

O, miracle of grace, 

My whole heart's love compelling 

Within this tiny space 

The Lord of All Good Life, 

The Very Light of Life and Love 

Is dwelling! 

And now my happy tears 

Have washed away my fears, 

And, past all mortal telling, 

Within my heart the tide of Love 

To fullest flood is welling. 

Praise be to Thee ! 
To Thee unending praise, 
For all the glowing depth and height 
Of these God-given days! 
For Thy sweet grace 
Which in this place 
[72] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



MY GUEST (continued) 

Doth time and space alike efface, 
And, merging faith in heavenly sight, 
Dares, with its inner mystic light, 
To look upon Thy face. 



[73] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE VISION 

One took me up into a lofty place, 
And opened windows that my soul should see 
Visions of this, and that, touched by His grace 
Of that which was . . . and is ... and yet may 
be. 

From the first lattice we looked out 

Upon a boundless waste of night-black sea, 

So vast and void that my soul chilled 

At its black misery. 

That stark black empty darkness filled 

Me with despair, no smallest sign 

Of life was there, 

No ray of light to enlumine 

The darkness saturnine. 

Then, as I gazed, far off, 
A pulse of light, 

A little throb of life, as when the dawn 
First quickens in the womb of night, 
A tiny glow, scarce visible ; 
But, as I watched, I saw it grow and grow; 

[74] 



TI1K l-'IKU'Y CROSS 



THE VISION (continued) 

And then, within the glow, 

A Cross, upon a low dark hill, 

Far-off and small, and yet my soul did thrill 

At sight of them; for in that cross 

Was Hope Invincible. 

But, all about it and below, 

Surged that vast sea of unrelieved woe, 

A grim wild welter of calamity, 

A tumbling grave, a ceaseless misery, 

Which rolled insurgent far as eye could see 

Thro* all the outer voids, 

A sink of bitterness and loss, 

Whose sullen waves washed ever to and fro 

Beneath the Cross. 

But, up above, the Cross did grow and grow, 

Till I could see its pulsing beams 

Light with their radiant gleams 

The nearer margin of the grim black flow. 

Then, to my searching eyes, the flood disclosed 
Strange things; 

Each drop in that black tide had been a man; 
Now, derelict, they lay beneath the ban, 
And went to form that sea demonian. 

[75] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE VISION (continued) 

Among those myriad hecatombs of dead, 

Were thrones and crowns, and bodies of dead 

kings, 

And those they ruled, misruled, betrayed ; 
And perished empires, wasted and decayed, 
And peoples long since passed, 
Their pomps and prides, the treasures they 

amassed, 

Their monuments, their temples, all become 
No more than spume upon that sea of doom, 
Like outcast offal on a shore of mud, 
Flung to the void and harried by the flood. 
And when I turned in horror to my Guide, 
His face was sad as sadly He replied, 

"The wrecks of Time, the wreckage of 

mankind. 

The Cross was there, but man was ever 
blind: 9 

And still the Cross, above the weltering flow, 
Larger and brighter grew, and still did grow 
Until its head 

Touched Heaven, and its wide arms 
Embraced the earth. And the soft glow 
Of its pure radiant glory shed 

[76] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE VISION (continued) 

A sense of blessing, far and wide, 
Across the horrors of the grim black tide. 

And ever brighter grew the Cross, until 
It seemed to dominate and fill 
All space with its soft silent majesty, 
And all the other worlds bent grave bright eyes, 
Charged with untold solemnities, 
Upon its sweet supremacy. 
And all creation watched, with bated breath, 
The Cross that grew, and growing, ever grew 
Still fairer, stronger, and more purely bright, 
Above that Sink of Death, 
And sent its light 

Wide-searching through the chambers of the 
night. 

And now I saw, within each radiant beam, 
A slender bridge that led from out the night, 
From thence to there, 
Across that seething gulf of black despair, 
Unto the Light. 

Long, wavering bridges, very strait and slight, 
Their swaying lengths upheld with anxious care 
By stalwarts who, in saintly servitude, 

[77] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE VISION (continued) 

With courage rare, and noble fortitude, 
Braved all the terrors of the fell black flood, 
And their great burdens did upbear 
'Gainst all vicissitude. 

And, as we gazed, my Guide said heartfully, 
"Narrow the W 'ay 
That leads from Dark to Light, 
From Night to Day; 
Nor lacking foes, nor dule, nor loss, 
But that way is the only way, 
The High Way of the Cross." 

And many travellers there were, who pressed 
Along those narrow ways, 
In quest of God's sweet grace. 
Backs to the night, and faces to the light, 
They travelled bare; 

There was no room upon those narrow ways 
For aught save life's necessities. 
Some sought at first to bring 
Their worldly gear, but soon did fling 
It on the tide, nor more regarded it. 
Some fell. I saw them lifted, carried on; 
And some I saw slip down 
Into the tide and be o'erwhelmed. . . . 

[78] 



T1IK FIKK'Y < KOSS 



THE VISION (continued) 

But ever, those great saintly servitors, 
With courage rare and noble fortitude, 
Upheld the narrow ways against the flood 
And all vicissitude. 

Another lattice opened, and I saw 

The earth spread wide below me; and with awe 

I watched its myriad workers toiling there 

With feverish haste and all-absorbing care, 

Each for himself, with scarce a thought for aught 

But his own gain and holding what he got. 

A grim ignoble scramble for the best 

That earth could yield, a frantic quest 

Of wealth and pleasure, and the lower things, 

With no prevision of the reckonings 

That time exacts when God's ways are reversed, 

And man, for his own gain, sets last things first. 

Life ran full swift, and garishly, and hard, 

Each man and nation ever on the guard 

Against aggression, 

Each striving with his might to hold in ward 

His own hard-won possession. 

The whole world worked, as did the men of old, 
Girt with their arms, their safety to uphold, 

[79] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE VISION (continued) 

Quick to resent infringement of their rights, 
Yet suffering patiently gross parasites 
Who battened on the first-fruits of their toil 
And found their own occasion in turmoil. 
And Faith and Hope and Love, with sorrowing 

eyes, 

In exile grieved o'er man's disloyalties. 
A cloud surcharged with evil overhung 
The toilsome earth, 
And over all its gloomy shadow flung. 
And there, in the shadow, very far away, 
The Cross stood dimmed, and fallen on decay. 
Some still indeed turned to it in their need, 
But, for the most part, it had little heed. 
For man, bowed down to earth beneath his load, 
Turned but a stubborn back towards his God. 

Then in a flash like sudden summer storm, 
Earth was at war, and every land aswarm 
With legions hurrying to the fight. The clash 
Of arms resounded everywhere. The crash 
And thunder of it bellowed through the skies, 
Stabbed with the wailing agonies and cries 
Of the poor victims in the fiery net, 
Writhing in all the torments of man's hate. 

[80] 



THE VISION (continued) 

And the foul reek of it did overshroud 
All life and heaven itself with its fell cloud. 

The Cross was dim and very far away, 

Man had dispensed him of its gentle sway. 

The Sea of Doom, with its despairing gloom, 

Was not so terrible as this 

Foul Stygian abyss, 

Aflame with vicious fires and thunderous hate, 

Where Life its high estate did abdicate, 

And on its altars all degenerate 

Its Saviour once again did immolate. 

For there was Death with yet a gleam of life, 

And here was life with Life in deadly strife. 

I turned in horror to my Guide : 
"After two thousand years . . . ." 
No word He spoke. 
He bowed His head, and sighed, 
A sigh more eloquent 
Than all the words e'er spoken, 
The sigh of One whose heart once broke 
O'er man impenitent, 
And now again was broken. 
Great drops of blood were on His brow, 

[81] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE VISION (continued) 

His fair white robe with blood was red, 
His hands were bleeding and His feet; 
At this defeat the old wounds bled, 
And yet ... 

His love was undiminished. 
Once more He drank the bitter cup, 
Once more the hyssop and the gall; 
Yet, in His agony, His eyes 
Were all majestical. 

He turned with mien inscrutable, 
Anguish and expectation strangely blent 
With Hope, and all with Love omnipotent, 
And yet His face was very sorrowful. 
"Wouldsl thou see that which is to be?" He said. 
"Yea, Lord!" I answered eagerly. 
And at the word He to a farther lattice led, 
And turned and looked me through and through 
Before He opened, 

Then flung it wide, 
And, side by side, 

We stood and gazed upon a wondrous scene, 
A scene of Perfect Peace, an earth swept clean 
Of all that did the former earth demean, 
Of war, warmakers, every smallest thing 

[82] 



TI1K FIKKY CROSS 



THE VISION (continued) 

That by its subtle cozening 

Kept Life at odds and ever on the jar, 

And set a bar 

'Twixt man and man, and so 'twixt man and God. 

Gone were the old dishonesties, the lies, 

Ill-faiths, and lack of faith, warped sympathies, 

And drink, and vice, the immoralities 

That sapped Life at the fount, and left it all 

Emasculate and weakened to its fall. 

Now, freed at last from War, and War's alarms, 

Man walked erect, uncrushed by weight of arms, 

And lived, as God intended him, at peace, 

To Life's enrichment and his soul's increase. 

Earth smiled and blossomed as she ne'er had done 

Since out of chaos her first state was won; 

And, striving now in peace as once in war, 

The peoples lived full lives as ne'er before. 

Now, in a clear blue sky a clear sun shone; 
Gone all the loathsome reek and smoke that hide 
War's tragedies and infamies, and gone 
Each smallest sign of that old life that died 
When last the world its Saviour crucified. 
From all the earth a hum of sweet content 
Rose up to heaven in ceaseless sacrament. 

[83] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE VISION (continued) 

The air was sweet with singing birds and praise, 

No man was weary, all too short the days 

For all the joys life held, 

And from the whole wide world there swelled 

Paeans of joy for Life's redeemed ways. 

And there on high, in blazing splendour set, 

The Cross triumphant stood, with nought to let 

The wonder and the glory of its might, 

Nor stay man of its respite infinite. 

"Now God be praised!" I cried, with vital joy, 

At sight of earth on such benign employ. 

But He spoke not. . . . Nor did His face 

Show any lightening of His soul's distress. 

One yearning look, which burned, and burned, 

and burned, 

And then, reluctantly, He turned, 
And, still reluctant, opened wide 
Another lattice. . . . 

. . . Like a blast from hell 
Came up the stench execrable, 
The reek and stench of war I knew so well. 
Backward I drew in uttermost amaze, 
Then bent, with curdled heart, to gaze, and gaze. 

Earth was at war again, 
More hatefully at war than e'er before. 

[841 



TIIK I-'IKKY CROSS 



THE VISION (continued) 

Horror on horror piled; for now, no more 
Right fought with 111, Life's true life to restore, 
But everywhere, throughout the whole wide world, 
Kingdoms and empires from their seats were 

hurled, 

Nation with nation fought for greed of gain, 
For place, for headship, as of old fought Cain. 
And worse, to profit by the mad world-strife 
Factions within devoured each nation's life, 
Death and destruction swept the bare earth bare, 
Life was a horror of untold despair. 
God's Truce had broken in the hand of man, 
And earth once more lay cursed beneath the ban. 
The very heavens were hidden by the reek; 
The Cross was hid, . . . and there was none to 

seek. 

This way or that, I saw must be 
The outcome of earth's latest tragedy. 

"Lord which?" I cried, in mortal agony. 
And He, 

"It rests with you, and with your kind. 

The Cross is there; 

Who seeks can find; 

Yea, he who seeks shall of a surety find . . 
[85] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE VISION (continued) 

But man is blind, 

Is blind . . . is blind . . . is blind." 



See now, my brothers, 

One and all 

We met The Call 

With hearts unbreakable, 

And bore the brunt 

Of woes unspeakable 
But on in front 
Just on in front 
Lie depths of horror and distress, 
Foul pits of utter ugliness, 
Of misery and wretchedness, 
Beyond the power of man to express,- 

Unless! 

. Unless! 



One only way there is by which this load 
Of coming ill may yet be turned to good,- 
One only way, 

Come back to God! 
[86] 



TIIK FIKKY CROSS 



THE VISION (continued) 

No laws, no cleverness, no statesmanship 

Of man can save the world and with new life 

equip; 

One Power alone, Come back to God, 
And His allegiance own! 

Cast out the evils that our souls debased ! 
Cleanse out Life's temple! Sweep it clean and 

chaste ! 

Let His fair image be no more defaced ! 
Come back to God! 

God is not mocked . . . 

Yet have we spurned and scorned and flouted Him, 
Yea, we have sorely grieved and doubted Him; 
And that way lies sure death. 

Come back to God! 

Come back to God! 

The only road by which the coming ill 

May yet be turned to good, 

Come back to God! 
Come back to God! 



[87] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



GRACE ROBES* 

If my sweet thought could texture take, 
And of its best your vesture make, 

How fair would be your robing! 
Of summer cloud and heaven's own blue, 
Inwove with every rainbow hue, 
And sprinkled thick with diamond dew; 
That is the robe I'd weave for you, 

And fair would be your robing! 

But you for your own self do weave 
Robes nobler than I can conceive, 

How wondrous fair your robing! 
Of gracious deed and noble thought, 
Of battles for the fallen fought, 
Of hope to faltering footsteps brought, 
New ways to wandering sinners taught; 
All these your wondrous robes have wrought, 

And fair indeed your robing ! 



[SS] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE HIGH CALL 

[With a violin-bow, a tuning-fork, and a flame 
of hydrogen, a very beautiful experiment is per- 
formed. The passage of the bow over the tuning- 
fork evokes a note of high frequency, the vibra- 
tions of which, travelling through the air, cause 
the flame to leap responsively and burn more bril- 
liantly, a symbolic case of perfect sympathy.] 

In the dim dawn 

When, through the still dark sky, 

God's mighty voice rang out "Let there 

be Light!" 

Swift at the word, from out the womb of night, 
Sprang forth the Sun's all glorious majesty, 
Blazing with splendour bright. 

So the thrilled flame 

Answers the music's call, 

And leaps and burns with sudden new-born fire; 

So flames the soul, when Love, the Gloriiier, 

Lifts it on wings of joys celestial 

To heavens of high desire. 
[89] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE HIGH CALL (continued) 

As that pure light 
Leaps to the quickening sound, 
The soul chivalrous leaps to heaven aflame, 
When, at white heat, his virgin soul can claim 
That with her love his life's high need hath 
found 

Its royal diadem. 



[90] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



NEIGHBOURS 

For three long years we all have gone, 

Close neighbouring with Death. 

And such a mate were weight too great 

If we had walked alone. 

But, to us, in our low estate, 

Came Great-Heart Hope, and True-Heart 

Faith, 

And Love upon her throne: 
And never will these three disown 
The simple souls that cling to them, 
And claim them as their own. 
For Love, the Queen, is queen of all, 
And ever answers every call 
Of every troubled soul. 
Her touch is ecumenical ; 
She makes the broken whole. 



[91] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE DAYS 

The Days steal softly through the Curtained 

Door, 

One at a time the Warder lets, no more, 
Each with his gifts close-vailed from human sight, 
And lays them at my feet upon the floor; 

Then waits, while I discover what he brought, 
Great things and small, with good and evil 

fraught, 

And watches quietly while I make play, 
For good or ill, and all too oft for nought. 

And while he waits I deck him as I will, 
And whiles it is well done, and whiles but ill ; 
Nought any wears but what my will has wrought, 
And what I do is all unchangeable. 

Each bears a scroll and quick inscribes thereon 
All that I do, the more I leave undone; 
Till, when Night beckons from his door, they pass, 
And leave me for a little space alone. 

[92] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



THE DAYS (continued) 

But each, ere passing through Night's shadowy 

door, 

Strips off his robes and leaves them on the floor; 
Each Day goes naked, bearing but his scroll, 
And what he leaves is added to my store. 

He passes through the Portal of the Night, 
But that he leaves lies ever in our sight 
God's sight and mine, and some is gray, some 

black, 
And some, by God's sweet grace, is almost white. 

So speeds the great procession of the Days, 
Too fast, too slow, but nought its progress stays ; 
Each gives me back that which I first have given, 
But what each takes my endless future sways. 



[93] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



FATHER-MOTHERHOOD 

O wondrous Father-Motherhood 
Great Dual Nature! 
We bless Thee that therein we find, 
With joyful soul and grateful mind, 
Thy fullest stature ! 



[94] 



THK K1KIIV CROSS 



THE KEY 

The Cross of Calvary 

Was verily The Key 

By which our Brother Christ 

Unlocked The Door 

Of Immortality 

To you and me; 

And, passing through Himself before, 

He set it wide 

For evermore, 

That we, by His grace justified, 

And by His great love fortified, 

Might enter in all fearlessly, 

And dwell for ever by His side. 

The Cross of Death 
Became the Key of Life; 
So now this purge of fiery wrath, 
This woful fratricidal strife, 
May leave along The Reaper's path 
A sweet and precious aftermath 
Of Hope, born of a new-born Faith, 
Of Life re-born of Death. 
[95] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



HIS DWELLING-PLACE 

He loves to dwell 

In the spotless cell 

Of the Little White House of Bread. 

But dearer still 

He loves to fill 

The soul of a spotless maid. 



196] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



I_GOD AM ! 

Evil triumphant everywhere, 

Thy world debased ; 
Life's lowest passions, stark and bare, 

Laying Life waste; 

What can our hearts, Lord, but despair, 
"Be still! and know 
That I GOD AMI" 

Good of the ages in the fire, 

And none to save; 
Thy world a world-wide funeral pyre, 

A mighty grave; 

Christ trampled down into the mire, 
"Be still! and know 
That I GOD AM!" 

Might's ruthless grip upon the days, 

Love beaten prone; 
Greed stalking rampant through the ways, 

Hope well-nigh gone ; 
Untruth that all Thy Truth betrays, 
"Be still! and know 
That I GOD AMI" 
[97] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



I GOD AM! (continued) 

Fret not your souls with vain despair, 

I see it all. 
In this foul crime had you no share? 

I know it all. 

Strive now your failure to repair! 
Both you and they who wove the snare 
Must come to know 
That I GOD AM ! 

Know this, I . . . AM ! 

As I have been, I AM I so shall be, 

Lord of all life through all eternity. 

I all things made. I all things know and see, 

And that I made I can at will unmake, 

But for man's sake 

Still hopefully I wait. 

Man, that he might attain his fullest state, 
I dowered with free-will 
The will to choose his way for good or ill. 
As I worked out Creation, so must he 
Work out his own immortal destiny. 
But if he fail, and still to sin doth tend, 
Then must I intervene and make an end, 
An end and a beginning, 
A better world for this world set on sinning. 
[98] 



Till-: HKKY CROSS 



DIMPSEY ON THE MOOR 

Up along, down along, all along the Moor, 

The lambs to their mothers are calling, 

The lorn lambs, the shorn dams, are crying and 

calling, 

The lambs and their mothers are crying and call- 
ing, 

The lambs to their mothers are calling ... are 
calling . . . . 

Are calling are calling are 

calling. 

Up aloft, all aloft, all along the Moor, 

The curlews are flying and crying, 

The curlews are flying and plaintively crying, 

While down in the West there the daylight is 

dying, 

Is dying ... is dying ... in glories untold 
Of rose-lucent amber and blue-green and gold, 
While the curlews their vespers are crying; 
Such glories untold may our rapt eyes behold 
When the wonders of Heaven through the Gates 

are unrolled, 

[99] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



DIMPSEY ON THE MOOR (continued) 

And, for ever earth's trammels and fetters defy- 
ing, 
We come to full living through dying. 

And up along, down along, all along the Moor, 
The dimpsey is falling ... is falling . . . 
Like God's Holy Spirit the dimpsey is falling, 
From the cope of the dimpsey the night-dew is 

falling, 

The drought and the dearth of the day to allay; 
Like a sweet benediction the night-dew is falling 
On the heat and the thirst of the day. 

Up along, down along, all along the Moor, 

The dimpsey new grace is revealing; 

Up the combes and the hillsides the gray ghosts 

are stealing, 
In the folds of their night-robes the lowlands 

concealing; 

The curlews are wheeling and flying and crying, 
Away in the West there the daylight is dying; 
God's peace all the Moor in glamour is empalling, 
The lambs and their mothers have ceased from 

their calling, 

And night like a blessing is falling ... is falling, 

[100] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



DIMPSEY ON THE MOOR (continued) 

Like a kiss from God's lips night is falling . . . 

is falling, 
On the slumberous face of the Moor. 

God's peace is enfolding the Moor in His pure 
Benedictory grace and glamour, 
And under His sure and most sweet coverture 
His creatures lie safe, and His creatures lie 

sure, 
All His creatures lie safe and secure. 

Lord, 

We pray that we may 

All the ills of the day 

Of Thy grace be forgiven, 

Of Thy mercy be shriven, 

And in Thy good time 

Find Thy heaven! 



[101] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



WHY? 

With what intent 

Was this grim sorrow sent? 

What meaning lies in such dread sacrifice? 

Of a surety it is meant 

To teach us this, 

That man, however fallen, still may rise, 

If he repent, 

Through sacrifice 

To sacrament. 

But till he thereunto attain, 

All sacrifice is made in vain. 

Forced sacrifice no virtue wins, 

Nor healeth any of his sins. 



[102] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



NATALICIA 

["NatalicM 9 and "Natalis" were the terms 
used in ancient times to signify and dignify the 
Death Days of the Martyrs t which their friends 
bravely and hopefully regarded as but their Birth 
Days into the Higher Life. And, year by year, 
as the days came round, those dearest to them 
kept as sacred festivals these anniversaries of 
their translation. So now, amongst ourselves, in 
these sad days, there are few who have not sim- 
ilar High Birthdays to commemorate. Let us do 
it with as brave and hopeful a faith as did the men 
of old!} 

I 

Your Birth-Day! Just twelve months ago it 

ended, 

Your bright young life and all our hopes in you ; 
But then began for you the Vision Splendid 
New life, new work, new powers, all things 

made new. 

Ours all the loss, and yours the well-earned guer- 
don; 

Not ours to mourn you in your high estate. 

[103] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



NATALICIA (continued) 

Mourn! at our loved one's dropping of his 

burden I 
Mourn! for a soul with Christ emancipate! 

Rather, we thank God for His generous giving; 
Each gracious thing in you we call to mind; 
We will not think of you as dead, but living, 
Living for ever in our love enshrined. 

II 

Twelve months ago this day, you passed 
To that high place God willed for you, 
To that new work He called you to, 
And life for us was overcast. 

But when we think upon your joy 
We cannot wish you back again, 
We recognise the higher gain 
To you in such divine employ. 

Our love upreaches through the vails 
To grace you in your high estate. 
As daily we commemorate 
Our joy in you that never fails. 

We feel you nearer now than when, 
Still with us, you were far away, 
[104] 



TI1K FIKUY CROSS 



NATALICIA (continued) 

Nor did we know from day to day 
If we should see your face again. 

So now, for your fine loyalty 
Unceasing thanks and praise we give; 
Who dies for Him shall ever live, 
Who lives for Him shall never die. 



[105] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



LIFE AND LIFE 

A bubble on a rain-splashed stream,- 

Come gone ; 

A troubled sleep, a broken dream, 

Soon flown; 

A passing cloud, a fleeting gleam, 

Wind-blown, 

Is man's life here; 

In terms of God's eternity 

A short diurnity. 

But there 

Beyond the golden vail, 

West of the shining sunset trail, 

What joys are his, 

What solving of all mysteries, 

What mighty glories of release, 

What wonders of the soul's increase, 

What ecstasies of untold bliss, 

Through all eternity are his ! 

Tis surely meeter far, and sweeter 
To consider these 

[106] 



THK FIKHV CROSS 



LIFE AND LIFE (continued) 

Than in despairing mood to brood 
On Life's gray mysteries. 
For no amount of brooding will 
One moment stay the mighty wheel 
Which, God's great purpose to fulfil, 
Turns on, and on, and on, until 
He makes an end. 

Then, with clear eyes, we shall look back 
Along the rough and tortuous track, 
And from the shining sunset crest 
Where we at last have found His rest, 
Shall say, 

"We wandered long and wilfully, 
We could not see, we would not see; 
But now we thank Him gratefully, 
His way was best; His way was best." 



[107] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



LIVE CHRIST! 

Live Christ ! and though thy way may be 
In this world's sight adversity, 
He who doth heed thy every need 
Shall give thy soul prosperity. 

Live Christ ! and though thy path may be 
The narrow street of poverty, 
He had not where to lay His head 
Yet lived in largest liberty. 

Live Christ! and though thy road may be 

The strait way of humility, 

He who first trod that way of God 

Will clothe thee with His dignity. 

Live Christ! and though thy life may be 
In much a valedictory, 
The heavy cross brings seeming loss 
But wins the crown of victory. 

Live Christ! and all thy life shall be 
A High Way of Delivery, 
[108] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



LIVE CHRIST! (continued) 

A Royal Road of goodly deeds, 
Gold-paved with sweetest charity. 

Live Christ ! and all thy life shall be 
A sweet uplifting ministry, 
A sowing of the fair white seeds 
That fruit through all eternity 



[109] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



BREAK DOWN THE WALLS 

Break down the old dividing walls 
Of sect, and rivalry, and schism, 
And heal the body of Thy Christ 
With anoint of Thy chrism! 

Let the strong wind of Thy sweet grace 
Sweep through Thy cumbered house, and 

chase 
The miasms from the Holy Place! 

Let Thy white beam of light beat in, 
And from each darkest corner win 
The shadows that have sheltered sin! 

Cleanse it of shibboleths and strife, 
End all the discords that were rife, 
Heal the old wounds and give new life I 

Break down the hedges that have growr 
So thickly all about Thy throne, 
And clear the paths, that every soul 
That seeks Thee of himself alone 
May find, and be made whole ! 
[HO] 



Till-: FIERY CROSS 



BREAK DOWN THE WALLS (continued) 

One church, one all harmonious voice, 
One passion for Thy High Employs, 
One heart of gold without alloys, 
One striving for the higher joys, 
One Christ, one Cross, one only Lord, 
One living of the Living Word. 



[Ill] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



"TO MEN OF GOOD-WILL PEACE!" 

The world was dark when the angels came, 
Hail, Mary, and the new-born Babe! 

The birth of the New Time to proclaim; 
Hall, Mary, and the new-born Babe! 

"To men of good-will Peace! 1 ' Earth's night 
Blazed suddenly with heavenly light; 

Hail, Mary, and the new-born Babe! 

The shadows of the past were riven 
By that sweet effluence from heaven; 

Hail, Mary, and the new-born Babe! 

'Twas in the depth of deepest dark, 
That came to fruit this mighty work; 

Hail, Mary, and the new-born Babe! 

The shepherds left their all, and sped 
By lonely ways to the lowly shed; 

Hail, Mary, and the new-born Babe! 

They did not wait, nor did delay, 
Till they found the place where the Saviour lay;- 
Hail, Mary, and the new-born Babe! 


[112] 



TIIK FIKK'Y CKOSS 



"TO MEN OF GOOD-WILI^-PEACE!" (con- 
tfnued ) 

Two thousand years have passed since then, 
They crucified the Christ the King. 

And earth still bears the curse of Cain, 

And crucifies the Christ its King. 

"To men of good-will Peace!" Ah, yes I 
But who would peace must grace possess; 
Nor crucify the Christ their King. 

The earth is dark and full of pain; 
Shall the heavenly Vision come again, 

While we crucify the Christ our King? 

The world has slipped away from Him; 
Our fealty is warped and dim; 

We crucify the Christ the King. 

Who would have peace must never cease 
To labour for His high increase, 

And crucify no more their King. 

Forsaking every smaller way, 
Seek only His supremacy, 

And crown Him . . . Christ . . . the 
King! 

[113] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



WHERE CHRIST IS BORN AGAIN 

Wherever one repenting soul 
Prays, in its agonies of pain, 
By God's sweet grace to be made whole, 
There, Christ is born again. 

Wherever bond of ancient thrall 
A strong soul bursts its shackling chain, 
And upward strains to meet the Call, 
There, Christ is born again. 

Wherever vision of the Light 
Disturbs the sleeping souls of men, 
Night trails away its shadowy flight, 
And Christ is born again. 

Wherever soul in travail turns, 
And climbs the barriers that constrain, 
With steady cheer Hope's sweet lamp 
burns, 
And Christ is born again. 

Where one foul thing is purged away, 
And Life delivered of one stain, 
Love rims with gold the coming day, 
And Christ is born again. 
[114] 



THE FIKKY CROSS 



FAIR RAIMENT. 

O that my prayers could raiment you in splen- 
dour, 

Heaven's mystic grace soft-spun to golden haze, 
Gemmed with the radiant jewels of the tender 
God-given memories of glad, good days! 

O that my love could clothe you with the glory 
Of its own vision of your loveliness, 
Fined and refined with touch absolutory, 
Wove and inwove with eucharistic grace! 

that my joy could clothe you with the wonder 
Of its own joyfulness in that you are 1 

What though our paths lie as the poles asunder, 

1 can thank God and worship from afar. 

O that my hope could clothe you in its glowing 
All-radiant faith in that which yet shall be, 
When, with a gladness beyond mortal knowing, 
Love claims its crown of immortality. 



[115] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



DEMOS IS IN THE SADDLE 

Demos is in the saddle; 
Look him fair and square in the face; 
He has padded so long in the gutter, 
Now he claims a more equal place. 

And the sooner we accept it, 
And admit his right to be there, 
And treat him as brother and equal, 
The better the world will fare. 

The walls of division are falling; 
Beware how you prop them up ! 
For Demos is in the saddle, 
And he carries the world on the crup. 



[116] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



RETURN! 
We pray 

"Lord Christ, come down again, 
And dwell with us, the sons of menT 9 

Yet why? 

Not for His coming need we pray, 

Since He is with us, night and day; 

Closer than breath, than life, than death, 

Our Lord is here, 

Is waiting, waiting, sad and lonely, 

Waiting ever, waiting only 

Till, with vision clear, 

We shall forsake our devious ways, 

And come in from the wilderness 

To claim His proffered grace. 

See Him sad and lonely, waiting 
For our coming only waiting 
While, with wilful heart, we still 
Go wandering down the flowery ways, 
And seek our good in every place 
Save where is righteousness; 
And still elect the lower part, 
[117] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



RETURN! (continued) 

Lest our own lower selves we thwart 
And make our pleasures less. 

Yes, surely Christ is with us now 

As truly as when, long ago, 

He put aside His high estate, 

And lived man's life below, 

And, dying, left His proxy meet, 

His fuller Self, His Comfort Sweet,* 

His Advocate, the Paraclete, 

To make His Love complete. 

Not "God to man 

Return!" 
But "Man to God 

Return!" 

Is man's one need to-day. 
O, sons of men, and sons of God, 
The Son of Man, the Son of God 
Stands waiting for you in the Way; 
Heart, life, and soul, 
He claims you whole, 
To-Day, To-Day, To-Day 1 

Return! Return! 
To Him again, 
[118] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



RETURN! (continued) 

Ye sons of men, 

Return! 
To Him Who grace alone can 

give, 

To Him through Whom alone we 
live, 

Return! Return! 



[119] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR 

Love 

Casts out Fear 
Like a pestilent garment, 
For Fear is a torment 
Which worketh sore ferment 
In Life's noble cheer. 

Bare before God 

Stands the Love that abideth. 

Love at its best 

Stands the test, undistressed, 

And nought hideth ; 

For Love in Love's honour confideth. 

Yea, Love at the full 
Gives its all, 
Nor withholdeth 
Its best in the giving; 
And in its receiving 
Takes all that is given 
As good gift of heaven. 
For God, The All-Giver, 
[120] 



THE FIKRY CROSS 



LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR (continued) 

Loves Love's greatest giving, 
Nor ever withholdeth 
From happy receiver, 
And happier giver, 
The Crown of Love's all 
In His joys mystical. 



[121] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



ONLY A STRETCHER-BEARER^ 

To K. J. W. OF SYDNEY, N.S.W., AND ALL is 
FELLOWS 

["// / had a hundred Victoria Crosses to dis- 
tribute, every one of them should go to the 
stretcher-bearers." GENERAL BIRDWOOD.] 

Only a stretcher-bearer! 

Only! 

But his life was high, 

And higher still his death. 

His loyalty and perfect faith 

Did his Great Captain magnify, 

And his high death 

Was more heroical 

Than the most stoical 

Of fighting-men's; 

For, like the Christ, he gave 

His life men's lives to save. 

He had a passion for life-saving, 
An all-unquenchable craving 
That no most murderous fire 
Could check, no labours tire. 
[122] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



ONLY A STRETCHER-BEARER (continued) 

Out there between the lines 

He toiled unceasingly, 

Sorting the living from the dead, 

Nor ever stayed 

To count the risks that round him played ; 

Enough for him that broken men lay there, 

Needing his care ; 

To succour them, he for himself 

No thought did spare. 

How many owed their lives to him 

No man shall tell. 

Over the top, in the half -light dim, 

Into the fiery hell, 

Unscnt, he went, 

Seeking them there, 

And, to the depths of their despair, 

Came like an answered prayer. 

Then, when his own call came, 
He passed, with heart aflame, 
To claim the full and meet reward 
Of one who, both in life and death, 
Had served his Lord. 

[123] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



GIVER OF ALL GOOD 

Thou art the Giver of All Good, 

Thou Thou alone. f$ 

'Tis man himself brings ill. 

If he had willed to do Thy will, 

He now had stood unconquerable 

Instead of lying prone 

Beneath the grinding heel 

Of the Unknown. 

Lord, turn us from our self-wrought ill 

And set us bravely to fulfil 

Thy Will alone! 



[124] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



CAIN! 

The mark of Cain is on your brow; 
Of your own will you set it there. 

The curse of Cain is in your heart; 

Your own will did beget it there. 

The brand of Cain is on your soul; 

Nor can the world forget it there. 

To gain your own vile ends, you made this 
strife ; 

But all in vain, 

Peace comes again! 
To suit your own vile ends, you murdered Truth; 

But all in vain, 

Truth lives again! 
To aid your own vile ends, you murdered Life ; 

But all in vain, 

Life lives again! 

To speed your own vile ends, you murdered 
Youth; 

But all in vain, 

Youth lives again! 

But Life shall ne'er clasp hands with you again, 
Until your soul be purged of this foul stain. 

[125] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



MY TREASURE 

Treasure I sought 

Over land and sea, 

And dearly I bought 

Prosperity. 

But nought that I gained, 

On land or sea, 

Brought ever a lasting good to me. 

Pleasure I sought 

Over sea and land, 

And snatched at life 

With eager hand. 

But nought that I found, 

On land or sea, 

Brought ever a lasting joy to me. 

For treasure of earth 
Is fleeting gain, 
And Pleasure is but 
A mask for pain. 
Life asketh more, 
And ever stands, 

With outstretched hands by an open- 
ing door. 
[126] 



THE FIK.K'Y CROSS 



MY TREASURE (continued) 

And then at last, 
My wanderings o'er, 
All that I sought, 
And God's good more, 
Lay waiting for me 
At my own door, 
Yea, more than I sought was at my 
door. 

He let me scour 
The world, to show 
His Love and Power 
Must all bestow. 
All mine own strivings 
Had brought me nought; 
He gave me more than all I had 
sought 



[127] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



SALVAGE 

In these dread times, 

Each day we pass unscathed 

Is one day snatched from sorrow. 

Help us to live full-faithed, 

Nor stoop ourselves to borrow 

From a possible to-morrow 

That which may never be; 

But, if it be, 

Is still ordained of Thee, that we 

May learn to rise 

Through sacrifice 

To nobler ministry. 



[128] 



T1IK KIKKY CROSS 



SO LITTLE AND SO MUCH 

In that I have so greatly failed Thee, Lord, 

Have grace ! 

And in Thy outer courts deny me not 

A place! 

So little of fair work for Thee have I 
To show; 

So much of what I might have done, I did 
Not do. 

Yet Thou hast seen in me at times the will 
For good, 

Although so oft I did not do all that 
I would. 

Thou knowest me through and through, and yet 

Thou canst 
Forgive. 

Only in hope of Thy redeeming grace 
I live. 



[129] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



SOME LITTLE WHILES 

But a little while 

And I was not here; 
But a little while 

And I no more am here; 
So, for the little while 

That I am here, 
Help me, O Lord, 
In true accord 
With Thee to live, 
That so I may 
Upon that day 
Fair reckoning give, 
And joyfully 
Receive from Thee 
The crown of immortality. 



[130] 



THK KIKRV CROSS 



LIFE AND DEATH 

Death preys on Life, 
And Life on Death doth live. 
For without death 
No creature that draws breath 
Could live. 

Strange paradox, and thought provo- 
cative, 

That Life must live by death, 
That without death 
Life cannot live, 
That Christ Himself, 
The Lord of Life, 
His life did give 
That we might live. 



[131] 



THE FIERY CROSS 



BENEDICTION 

May the Grace of Christ enfold you, 

Now and evermore! 

May the Love of God uphold you, 

Now and evermore! 

May the Holy Spirit hold you 

In communion, close and sweet, 

With Himself, the Paraclete, 

Now and evermore! 

May the Three in One withhold you 
From each smallest thing unmeet, 
From all sorrow of defeat, 
Crown you with Their joy complete, 

Now and evermore! 

May They gift you helpfulness 
To your fellows in distress, 
And the greatness to possess 
Your high soul in joyfulness; 
So, in all things, may They bless 

You for evermore! 

[132] 



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UF5 



Oxenham, John 

The fiery cross 



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