The Iron Crags

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Upon the iron crags of War I heard his terrible daughters
In battle speak while at their feet,
In gulfs of human waters,
A voice, intoning, "Where is God?" in ceaseless sorrow beat:
And to my heart, in doubt, I said,
"God? God's above the storm!
O heart, be brave, be comforted,
And keep your hearth-stone warm
For her who breasts the storm
God's Peace, the fair of form."
I heard the Battle Angels cry above the slain's red mountains,
While from their wings the lightnings hurled
Of Death's destroying fountains,
And thunder of their revels rolled around the ruined world:
Still to my heart, in fear, I cried,
"God? God is watching there!
My heart, oh, keep the doorway wide
Here in your House of Care,
For her who wanders there,
God's Peace, with happy hair."
The darkness and the battle passed: and rushing on wild pinions
The hosts of Havoc shrieked their hate
And fled to Hell's dominions,
And, lo! I heard, out in the night, a knocking at the gate:
And one who cried aloud to me:
"The night and storm are gone!
Oh, open wide the door and see
Who waits here in the dawn!
Peace, with God's splendor on
Back to the sad world drawn!"

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