21st September 1870
SPEAK low, speak little: who may sing
While yonder cannon thunders boom?
Watch, shuddering, what each day may bring:
Nor "pipe amid the crack of doom"!
And yet -- the pines sing overhead,
The robins by the alder-pool,
The bees about the garden-bed,
The children dancing home from school.
And ever at the loom of Birth
The mighty Mother weaves and sings:
She weaves -- fresh robes for mangled earth;
She sings -- fresh hopes for desperate things.
And thou, too: if through nature's calm
Some strain of music touch thine ears
Accept and share that soothing balm,
And sing, though choked with pitying tears.
Edwards, Mabel C. and Mary Booth, ed. THE FIERY CROSS: An Anthology of War Poems. London: Grant Richards Ltd., 1915.