The Burning Marl

The Peace of God

J. Le Gay Brereton

THE seeking souls, by baleful fires made blind,
    Torn by entrapping brambles, thirsty and mad,
    Hear on the lonely waste the stealthy pad
And half-held breath of glaring beasts behind;
Then soft hands lead them where the weary find
    A refuge from thought’s hunting and are glad.
    Why to their certain misery should they add?
They rest secure, to freedom’s loss resigned.

So, in the bitter years when love and age
    Sneered at the youth whose sturdy heart withheld
        His hand from slaughter, till, in desperate plight,
He flung into the trampling equipage,
    I have heard him mutter, as the music swelled,
        “The peace of God is on me. They were right.”

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