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Captive? ah, still, to honour bright,
A captive soldier of the right!
Or free and fighting, good with ill?
Unconquering but unconquered still!

And ye, O brethren, what if God,
When from Heav'n's top he spies abroad,
And sees on this tormented stage

The noble war of mankind rage:
What if his vivifying eye,

O monks, should pass your corner by?

For still the Lord is Lord of might;
In deeds, in deeds, he takes delight;
The plough, the spear, the laden barks,
The field, the founded city, marks;
He marks the smiler of the streets,
The singer upon garden seats;
He sees the climber in the rocks;
To him, the shepherd folds his flocks.
For those he loves that underprop
With daily virtues Heaven's top,
And bear the falling sky with ease,
Unfrowning caryatides.

Those he approves that ply the trade,

That rock the child, that wed the maid,

That with weak virtues, weaker hands,
Sow gladness on the peopled lands,
And still with laughter, song and shout,
Spin the great wheel of earth about.

But ye? - O ye who linger still
Here in your fortress on the hill,
With placid face, with tranquil breath,
The unsought volunteers of death,
Our cheerful General on high
With careless looks may pass you by.

OT yet, my soul, these friendly fields

No desert,

Where thou with grass, and rivers, and the breeze

And the bright face of day, thy dalliance


Where to thine ear first sang the enraptured birds;

Where love and thou that lasting bargain


The ship rides trimmed, and from the eternal shore

Thou hearest airy voices; but not yet
Depart, my soul, not yet awhile depart.

Freedom is far, rest far. Thou art with life Too closely woven, nerve with nerve intwined;

Service still craving service, love for love, Love for dear love, still suppliant with tears. Alas, not yet thy human task is done!

A bond at birth is forged; a debt doth lie

Immortal on mortality. It grows —

By vast rebound it grows, unceasing growth; Gift upon gift, alms upon alms, upreared, From man, from God, from nature, till the soul

At that so huge indulgence stands amazed.

Leave not, my soul, the unfoughten field, nor leave

Thy debts dishonoured, nor thy place desert
Without due service rendered. For thy life,
Up, spirit, and defend that fort of clay,
Thy body, now beleaguered; whether soon
Or late she fall; whether to-day thy friends
Bewail thee dead, or, after years, a man
Grown old in honour and the friend of


Contend, my soul, for moments and for hours;

Each is with service pregnant; each reclaimed

Is as a kingdom conquered, where to reign. As when a captain rallies to the fight

His scattered legions, and beats ruin back, He, on the field, encamps, well pleased in


Yet surely him shall fortune overtake,

Him smite in turn, headlong his ensigns


And that dear land, now safe, to-morrow fall.

But he, unthinking, in the present good Solely delights, and all the camps rejoice.

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