WAYNE stood bareheaded on the churchyard sward
By the open grave under the open sky:
"I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord,
He who believeth in Me shall never die."
Beautiful, terrible service! He heard a word
Here and there, and then he would drift away
To other memories and things not heard
Ruth's laugh when she used to laugh, so little and gay.
"When thou with rebukes dost chasten a man from sin.."
Was it sin that had parted him from Ruth?
Was sin the secret corrosion that entered in
Likea moth fretting the garment of love in youth?
Too late, too late! He heard the parson say:
"Before I go hence and be no more seen. . .
A thousand years in thy sight is but as yesterday. . .
Too late, too late! "As grass in the morning green..."
"Was it Ruth he was leaving here in the churchyard plot
Could it be Ruth who had gone, not saying good-bye?
"What advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?
Let us eat and drink for to-morrow we die."
How can a man help eating and drinking?
Die to-morrow! To-day, if he had his will.
How many years must he spend in thinking, thinking
Of the thing which someone has said that all men kill?
Well, he could bear what he must bear - even the sound
Of earth on a coffin falling. What must be must.
"We therefore commit her body to the ground,
Ashes to ashes, earth to earth, dust to dust."
Prayers! Would they never be done, these killing
Rites for the dead! Ah, there was the organ's roll
From the little church, and children's.voices shrilling,
Piping Ruth's favourite hymn, "Hark, hark, my soul..."
"Hark, hark, my soul! Angelic songs are swelling
O'er earth's green fields and ocean's wave-beat shore;
How sweet the truth those blessed strains are telling
Of that new life where sin shall be no morel
Angels of Jesus,
Angels of light,
Singing to welcome
The pilgrims of the night."