The Cross Still Stands!

A poem by William Arthur Dunkerley

()"In the evening I went for a walk to a village lately shelled by German heavy guns. Their effect was awful--ghastly. It was impossible to imagine the amount of damage done until one really saw it. The church was terrible too. The spire was sticking upside down in the ground a short distance from the door. The church itself was a mass of debris. Scarcely anything was left unhit. In the churchyard again the destruction was terrific--tombstones thrown all over the place. But the most noticeable thing of all was that the three Crucifixes--one inside and two outside--were untouched! How they can have avoided the shelling is quite beyond me. It was a wonderful sight though an awful one. There were holes in the churchyard about fifteen feet across."--From a letter from my boy at the Front.)

The churchyard stones all blasted into shreds,
The dead re-slain within their lowly beds,--
THE CROSS STILL STANDS!

His holy ground all cratered and crevassed,
All flailed to fragments by the fiery blast,--
THE CROSS STILL STANDS!

His church a blackened ruin, scarce one stone
Left on another,--yet, untouched alone,--
THE CROSS STILL STANDS!

His shrines o'erthrown, His altars desecrate,
His priests the victims of a pagan hate,--
THE CROSS STILL STANDS!

'Mid all the horrors of the reddened ways,
The thund'rous nights, the dark and dreadful days,--
THE CROSS STILL STANDS!

* * * * *

And, 'mid the chaos of the Deadlier Strife,--
A Church at odds with its own self and life,--
HIS CROSS STILL STANDS!

Faith folds her wings, and Hope at times grows dim;
The world goes wandering away from Him;--
HIS CROSS STILL STANDS!

Love, with the lifted hands and thorn-crowned head,
Still conquers Death, though life itself be fled;--
HIS CROSS STILL STANDS!

Yes,--Love triumphant stands, and stands for more,
In our great need, than e'er it stood before!
HIS CROSS STILL STANDS!

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