Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XI. O Come Quickly
In Memoriam G. O.—A Sussex Peasant
By A. C. Steele
NO more for him the morning winds
Will blow fleet shadows o’er the downs,
No more for him the sunset-red
Will deepen o’er the Western towns.
His patient hands no more may wrest        5
Scant profit from the barren soil,
No more his tired feet may tread
The paths that marked his daily toil.
The horse his kindly voice controlled
(By loving tendance made his own)        10
Will chafe beneath a stranger’s touch
And wonder at a stranger’s tone.
Labour is prayer and God is love,
And when he sought his daily task
Be sure that in the eastern light        15
He, silent, gained what others ask.
Be sure that in the Western sun
His evening prayers were mutely said,
And when the long night came at last
Faith comforted his dying bed.        20
Confident as a child that turns,
When tired, on a lonely road,
To nestle on his father’s arm,
Feeling in love a sure abode,
So dwelled he in his Maker’s care,        25
Resigned no longer here to roam,
And when he bade his friend farewell
Said: ‘Matey, I am going Home.’
He loved his wife, he reared his brood,
A quiet, steadfast Englishman,        30
A loyal worker firm in faith,—
Better the record ye who can!
And when for us the wild down winds
Blend dully with the wistful foam,
May we no greater trouble feel        35
Than ‘Matey, I am going Home.’

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