Amid my books I lived the hurrying years,
Disdaining kinship with my fellow man;
Alike to me were human smiles and tears,
I cared not whither Earth's great life-stream ran,
Till as I knelt before my mouldered shrine,
God made me look into a woman's eyes;
And I, who thought all earthly wisdom mine,
Knew in a moment that the eternal skies
Were measured but in inches, to the quest
That lay before me in that mystic gaze.
“Surely I have been errant; it is best
That I should tread, with men their human ways.”
God took the teacher, ere the task was learned,
And to my lonely books again I turned.
One spake amid the nations, “Let us cease
From darkening with strife the fair World's light,
We who are great in war be great in peace.
No longer let us plead the cause by might.”
But from a million British graves took birth
A silent voice—the million spake as one—
“If ye have righted all the wrongs of earth
Lay by the sword! Its work and ours is done.”