The Clarion calls

The trunks of trees which I knew glorious green,
Which I saw felled last year, already show
Rust-red their rounds; the twisting path between
Takes its new way already plain as though
It went this way since years and years ago.
The plough I saw my friend so often guide,
Snapped on the sly snag at the spinney side,
Lies rusting there where brambles overflow;
As gulfed in limbo lake as buried coins,
Which, once both bread and wine, now nothing mean.
The spider dates it not but spins in the heat,
For what's time past? but present time is sweet.
Think, in that churchyard lies fruit of our loins—
The child who bright as pearl shone into breath
With the Egyptian's first-born shares coeval death.

The clarion calls: away! to take
Thy station in God's host;
And with His mitred watchmen wake;
And in meek silence for His sake
Endure what scornful music earth can make
When holy ground seems lost.

Too well I read thy shrinking brow;
A sting is busy there:
A fretful conscience, wondering how
Such boldness suits with broken vow.
Didst thou not erst before the Anointed bow
And glad obedience swear?
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