Off To The War

A poem by Michael Earls

(For Jack)

In a little ship and down the bay,
Out to the calling sea,
A young brave lad sailed off today,
To the one great war went he:
The one long war all men must know
Greater than land or gold,
Soul is the prince and flesh the foe
Of a kingdom Christ will hold.

With arms of faith and hope well-wrought
The brave lad went away,
And the voice of Christ fills all his thought,
Under two hands that pray:
The tender love of a mother's hands
That guarded all his years,
Fitted the armor, plate and bands,
And blessed them with her tears.

Older than Rhodes and Ascalon
And the farthest forts of sea,
Is the Master voice that calls him on
From the hills in Galilee:
From hills where Christ in gentle guise
Called, as He calls again,
With His heart of love and His love-lit eyes
Unto His warrior men.

Christ with the brave young lad to-day
Who goes to the sweet command,
Strengthen his heart wherever the way,
Whether he march or stand:
And whether he die in a peaceful cell,
Or alone in the lonely night,
The Cross of Christ shall keep him well,
And be his death's delight.

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