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Poem by Charles Hamilton Sorley


There is silence in the evening when the long days cease,
And a million men are praying for an ultimate release
From strife and sweat and sorrowthey are praying for peace.
     ⁠But God is marching on.

Peace for a people that is striving to be free!
Peace for the children of the wild wet sea!
Peace for the seekers of the promised landdo we
⁠     Want peace when God has none?

We pray for rest and beauty that we know we cannot earn,
And ever are we asking for a honey-sweet return;
But God will make it bitter, make it bitter, till we learn
⁠     That with tears the race is run.

And did not Jesus perish to bring to men, not peace,
But a sword, a sword for battle and a sword that should not cease?
Two thousand years have passed us. Do we still want peace
⁠     Where the sword of Christ has shone?

Yes, Christ perished to present us with a sword,
That strife should be our portion and more strife our reward,
For toil and tribulation and the glory of the Lord
⁠     And the sword of Christ are one.

If you want to know the beauty of the thing called rest,
Go, get it from the poets, who will tell you it is best
(And their words are sweet as honey) to lie flat upon your chest
     ⁠And sleep till life is gone.

I know that there is beauty where the low streams run,
And the weeping of the willows and the big sunk sun,
But I know my work is doing and it never shall be done,
⁠     Though I march for ages on. Wild is the tumult of the long grey street,
O, is it never silent from the tramping of their feet?
Here, Jesus, is Thy triumph, and here the world's defeat,
⁠     For from here all peace has gone.

There's a stranger thing than beauty in the ceaseless city's breast,
In the throbbing of its feverand the wind is in the west,
And the rain is driving forward where there is no rest,
     ⁠For the Lord is marching on. 

December 1912

Charles Hamilton Sorley

Charles Hamilton Sorley's other poems:
  1. East Kennet Church at Evening
  2. Marlborough
  3. Rooks (There is such cry in all these birds)
  4. To Poets
  5. In Memoriam S. C. W., V.C.

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Rupert Brooke Peace ("Now, God Be Thanked Who Has Matched Us With His Hour")
  • William Yeats Peace ("AH, that Time could touch a form")
  • George Herbert Peace ("SWEET Peace, where dost thou dwell? I humbly crave")
  • Gerard Hopkins Peace ("When will you ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut")
  • Henry Vaughan Peace ("My Soul, there is a country")
  • Eleanor Farjeon Peace ("I am as awful as my brother War")
  • Robert Anderson Peace ("Now, God be prais'd! we've peace at last")
  • Robert Bloomfield Peace ("Halt! ye Legions, sheathe your Steel")
  • Gerald Massey Peace ("Yes, Peace is beautiful, and I do yearn")
  • Henry Newbolt Peace ("No more to watch by Night's eternal shore")
  • Sara Teasdale Peace ("PEACE flows into me")
  • Henry Van Dyke Peace ("Two dwellings, Peace, are thine")
  • Albery Whitman Peace ("As the raindrop on a flower")

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