Battle Song to the Soldier of Life
( Helen Ludlow)
Thou whose light is slowly waning
With no heart to hold thine own
Know the might of uncomplaining
Stout endurance all alone!
Up! And be a slave no longer
Dare to speak the word "I can!"
Love is strong but souls are stronger
And the giant will of man.
Up! and fight for day is fleeting,
He who sleeps and shuns his part,
Lives but in the languid beating
Of a chill and coward heart.
Though the Soul is intensest yearning
Lash thy bosom like a sea.
Godlike joys shall come in learning
That thou hast the mastery.
Golden images of Beauty
Lure thee to the dreaming Past
But though Death march on with Duty
Be thy soul's Iconoclast.
From the Heart's enshrining inches,
From the pomp of gold and gem,
Hurl the statues, though the riches
Of a life go down with them.
Shapes impossible but cherished
Mighty joys that cannot be
Perish all, as aye have perished
Those which had reality.
Thus shalt thou lay down thine hammer,
Wipe thy brow and rest in peace,
And the trumpet-din and clamor
Of embattled passions cease.
Strong to the deed that makes thee glorious
Who for thee thy burial mound
E'en thy death shall be victorious
And thy head shall slumber crowned
Serve God with the Best
Helen Ludlow's notebook
God's bounties fill the hand of thrift,
Yet we with garners stored
Forget the Giver in the gift,
Nor well requite the Lord,
But we whose strivings he hath blest
Should serve him ever with the best.
When Plenty sets her golden seals
Where Labor's hand hath been,
When the last harvest-burdened wheels
Have brought their blessing in,
Let the first fruits of increase won
Be His who gave the rain & sun,
When Morn unlocks his rosy door
Earth teems with stillness sweet,
Before her paths are printed o'er
With hurrying human feet;
Give God this opening bud of time
And praise Him in the morning's prime.
Give God thy manhood's earliest part
Nor yield him Malessly
The last sad gleamings of a heart
Reaped by his enemy;
Shall he behold thee grey in sin
Who died in youth thy soul to win?
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Battle Song Poems
Hymn of Forbearance
Fitz Hugh Ludlow,
O living were a bitter thing,
A riddle without reasons,
If each sat lonely, gathering
Within his own heart's narrow ring
The hopes and fears encumbering
The flight of earthly seasons.
Thank God that in Life's little day,
Between our dawn and setting,
We have kind deeds to give away,
Sad hearts for which our own may pray
And strength when we are wronged to stay,
Forgiving and forgetting.
Thank God for other feet that be
By ours in Life's wayfaring --
For blessed Christian charity,
Believing good she cannot see,
Suffering her friends' infirmity,
Enduring and forbearing.
We all are travellers, who throng
A thorny road together,
And if some pilgrim not so strong
As I, but foot-sore, does me wrong,
I'll make excuse, the road is long,
And stormy is the weather.
What comfort will it yield the day
Whose light shall find us dying,
To know that once we had our way
Against a child of weaker clay,
And bought our triumph in the fray,
With purchase of his sighing?
Oh, who, when Life to many souls
So little hath to cheer it,
Will cover up his kindly coals
In ashes, hoard the slender doles
Which to the shipwrecked on Earth's shoals
Might still so much endear it?
Most like our Lord are they who bear,
Like him, long with the sinning;
The music of long suffering prayer
Brings angels down God's golden stair,
Like those through Olivet's darkened air,
Who saw our life beginning.