The Secret Key and Other Verses

William Henry Groom Valé

George Essex Evans

NOW is there rest for heart and brain
No mandate calls to him again.
The lips that voiced the People’s will
Are powerless now, and very still.
The heart that loved the common cause,
The brain that wrought a Nation’s laws—
These are no more. There only creeps
The shadow of a common grief.
We, who have reaped what he has sown,
Shall we not sorrow for our own,
Though now in silence and relief
The Tribune of the People sleeps!

    Life hath its crowns in War and Art,
    In Council Hall and busy Mart—
    The noblest that a man may win
    Is that his name shall linger in
                The People’s heart.

    For never shall oblivion slight
    The hearts that fight the People’s fight.
    Much less, when, thro’ a life of stress,
    One voice ’gainst countless odds has stood,
    And won, in pain and bitterness,
                The People’s good.

He buildeth best who buildeth sure,
Who, year by year, lays stone on stone,
Broad-based and steadfast to endure,
Whose guerdon is his work alone—
There is no fame to rise above
The crowning honour of a People’s love.

So leave him to his rest, who toiled for all,
Nor gave his life to pile ill-gotten gains.
He passes to obey the Master call:
                His work remains.

The Secret Key and Other Verses - Contents

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