A poem by Virna Sheard

The Saints of Thy great Church, 0 Christ,
How vast their numbers be -
On holy page and ancient scroll
Their blessed names we see,
And from the painted window panes
They smile eternally.

Rope-girdled monk, and pallid maid,
And men who for Thy cross
Fought with the Saracen of old,
Counting their lives no loss -
Martyrs who rose through golden flames,
Free of the body's dross.

Yet there be Saints uncanonised,
Unrecognised, unknown -
Here on the common roads of earth,
Oft times they walk alone;
Saints whom no soul hath ever praised,
Saints whom no Church doth own.

Men who against their souls' grim foes
Wage an unyielding fight;
Men of new creeds, and men of old,
Men of dark hue, and white,
Each pressing hard towards some far gleam
Of Thy celestial light.

Dwellers in places waste and lone,
Toilers upon the seas -
Mayhap they seldom pray high heaven.
Softly - on bended knees -
Yet in the roll-call of Thy Saints,
Dear Christ - remember these.

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