W. E. H. (Poem by Gilbert Parker)

Suggested Poem

W. E. H.
By Gilbert Parker


“Henley is dead!” Ah, but the sound and the sight of him,
Buoyant, commanding, and strong, suffering, noble in mind!
Gone, and no more shall we have any discourse or delight of him,
Wearing his pain like a song, casting his troubles behind.

Gallant and fair! Feeling the soul and the ruth of things,
Probing the wounds of the world, healing he brought and surcease — 
Laughter he gave, beauty to teach us the truth of things,
Music to march to the fight, ballads for hours of peace.

Now it is done! Fearless the soul of him strove for us,
Viking in blood and in soul, baring his face to the rain,
Facing the storm he fared on, singing for England and love of us,
On to the last corral where now he lies beaten and slain.

Beaten and slain! Yes, but England hath heed of him,
Singer of high degree, master of thought and of word — 
She shall bear witness with tears, of the pride and the loss and the need of him;
We shall measure the years by the voice and the song unheard.

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