Easter Sunday, 1916

A poem by William Arthur Dunkerley

The sun shone white and fair,
This Eastertide,
Yet all its sweetness seemed but to deride
Our souls' despair;
For stricken hearts, and loss and pain,
Were everywhere.
We sang our Alleluias,--
We said, "The Christ is risen!
From this His earthly prison,
The Christ indeed is risen.
He is gone up on high,
To the perfect peace of heaven."

Then, with a sigh,
We wondered...
Our minds evolved grim hordes of huns,
Our bruised hearts sank beneath the guns,
On our very souls they thundered.
Can you wonder?--Can you wonder,
That we wondered,
As we heard the huns' guns thunder?
That we looked in one another's eyes
And wondered,--

"Is Christ indeed then risen from the dead?
Hath He not rather fled
For ever from a world where He
Meets such contumely?"

Our hearts were sick with pain,
As they beat the sad refrain,--
"How shall the Lord Christ come again?
How can the Lord Christ come again?
Nay,--will He come again?
Is He not surely fled
For ever from a world where He
Is still so buffeted?"

But the day's glory all forbade
Such depth of woe. Came to our aid
The sun, the birds, the springing things,
The winging things, the singing things;
And taught us this,--
After each Winter cometh Spring,--
God's hand is still in everything,--
His mighty purposes are sure,--
His endless love doth still endure,
And will not cease, nor know remiss,
Despite man's forfeiture.

The Lord is risen indeed!
In very truth and deed
The Lord is risen, is risen, is risen;
He will supply our need.

So we took heart again,
And built us refuges from pain
Within His coverture,--
Strong towers of Love, and Hope, and Faith,
That shall maintain
Our souls' estate
Too high and great
For even Death to violate.

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