[Editor: This poem by L. E. Homfray was published in ‘Somewhere in France’ (1917).]
The Soldier’s Vision of Christ
The battle was raging fierce and strong,
In countless numbers the wounded lay,
Beyond the reach of all human aid
A boy lay breathing his life away.
And up from his weak and tortured lips,
Went forth through the gloom one dying cry,
“There is no other to save us now,
Oh! Son of Mary, in love draw nigh.”
Then suddenly at his side there stood
A glorious vision in raiment white,
And from that Face neath the thorny crown,
A radiance shone through the awful night.
“Fear not, beloved,” thus spake the Voice,
“For have I not all thine anguish borne?
For thee have I suffered pain and death,
The cruel nails and the crown of thorn.
And when thou walkest through Death’s dark vale
My Presence shall be thy strength and stay,
Till all the anguish of pain and strife
Shall end in the light of eternal day.
When morning broke and the searchers came
They wondered to see the smile he wore,
The infinite calm, and sweet content
Of one who rememberest pain no more.
“His eyes have seen the vision of Christ,”
Said one who had known him long and well,
And after the sound of battle strife
The rapture of peace — ah! who could tell?
L. E. Homfray
L. E. Homfray, ‘Somewhere in France’, Sydney: D. S. Ford, [1917?]
stay = something which serves as a prop, a means of support; a strong thick rope or wire used to support a mast
Vernacular spelling in the original text:
Old spelling in the original text:
walkest (walk; walks)
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