Prose & Poetry - The Muse in Arms - In The Lower Garden
First published in London in November 1917 and reprinted in February 1918 The Muse in Arms comprised, in the words of editor E. B. Osborne:
"A collection of war poems, for the most part written in the field of action, by seamen, soldiers, and flying men who are serving, or have served, in the Great War".
Below is one of seven poems featured within The Christian Soldier section of the collection.
You can access other poems within the section via the sidebar to the right.
In The Lower Garden
by H. S. Graham
Why do you leave me always here?
For me no usefulness is found;
I have no beauty anywhere;
Will you not tear me from the ground?
Watch ye the lilies how they grow,
They neither toil nor make complaint.
Look at their gentleness, and know
They are a strength to stay the faint.
I do not see the lilies, Lord,
And I am weary of this waste.
Watch ye the grass upon the sward;
The lily never grows in haste.
Yea, in the grass I see a stalk;
The bending leaves to left and right
Fashion a cross beside the walk.
Tell me the meaning of this sight.
The lily makes a cross because
I planted it to give a sign
That what the Word of God once was
Shall ever be the truth benign.
See on the stem it bows its head
Stooping to open unto earth.
So on the cross the Saviour dead
Opened to man a second birth.
Oh what a lovely yellow bloom,
Crown of the richest golden hue!
Light from the Garden's open Tomb,
Give me a golden flower too!
Know ye the spirit of your kind?
It is not Mine to make it so;
Colour and form are of the mind;
Ponder the lilies, how they blow!
Now do I feel a bud of life
Springing from out my slender trail.
Soon you will bear the fruit of strife
That draws to earth the Holy Grail.
Grant me the fulness of Thy grace,
An open heart, that ever knows
Wisdom and strength Thy love to trace,
Blossoming forth a full-blown rose.
Ponder the lilies! Pomp and pride,
Wisdom and honour, wealth and dress,
Solomon's glory never vied
With all the splendour they possess!
Give me just wisdom, peace of mind,
To be the Watchman of my Tower.
There is no wisdom more to find
If you but know this golden flower!
While the pure form I contemplate,
And note the humble drooping pose,
A stirring quickens my estate;
The bud becomes a full-blown rose.
Thou must let fall thy petals too,
And thou shalt be both pure and great;
Thy ruddy splendour, royal hue,
Betokens Life Illuminate!
O Thou to whom all hearts are pure,
Thy prescience telleth my desire!
The lily tells you to endure
And pray the Spirit to inspire.
This have I done, Lord, from the first,
But this is finite, where we dwell,
For Living Water, Lord, I thirst;
Thou art the Water and the Well!
There is a life beyond the grave;
Leave all, unite with Me, and rise
Upwards, and bless the One who gave
The lily power to make men wise!
A 'Tracer' was a phosphorescent machine-gun bullet which glowed in flight, indicating course as an aid to artillery.
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