Verse > Anthologies > George Herbert Clarke, ed. > A Treasury of War Poetry
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George Herbert Clarke, ed. (1873–1953).  A Treasury of War Poetry.  1917.
 
111. The Healers
 
By Laurence Binyon
 
 
IN a vision of the night I saw them,
    In the battles of the night.
’Mid the roar and the reeling shadows of blood
    They were moving like light,
 
Light of the reason, guarded        5
    Tense within the will,
As a lantern under a tossing of boughs
    Burns steady and still.
 
With scrutiny calm, and with fingers
    Patient as swift        10
They bind up the hurts and the pain-writhen
    Bodies uplift,
 
Untired and defenceless; around them
    With shrieks in its breath
Bursts stark from the terrible horizon        15
    Impersonal death;
 
But they take not their courage from anger
    That blinds the hot being;
They take not their pity from weakness;
    Tender, yet seeing;        20
 
Feeling, yet nerved to the uttermost;
    Keen, like steel;
Yet the wounds of the mind they are stricken with,
    Who shall heal?
 
They endure to have eyes of the watcher        25
    In hell, and not swerve
For an hour from the faith that they follow,
    The light that they serve.
 
Man true to man, to his kindness
    That overflows all,        30
To his spirit erect in the thunder
    When all his forts fall,—
 
This light, in the tiger-mad welter,
    They serve and they save.
What song shall be worthy to sing of them—        35
    Braver than the brave?
 

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