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Poem by Katharine Tynan

The Convent Garden

The Convent garden lies so near
    The road the people go,
If it was quiet you might hear
    The nuns' talk, merry and low.

Black London trees have made their screen
    From folk who pry and peer,
The sooty sparrows now begin
    Their talk of country cheer.

And round and round by twos and threes
    The nuns walk, praying still
For fighting men across the seas
    Who die to save them ill.

From the dear prison of her choice
    The young nun's thoughts are far;
She muses on the golden boys
    At all the Fronts of War.

Now from her narrow Convent house
    She sees where great ships be,
And plucks the robe of God, her Spouse,
    To give the victory.

Under her robe her heart's a-beat,
    Her maiden pulses stir,
At sound of marching in the street,
    To think they die for her!

And now beneath the veil and hood
    Her hidden eyes will glow,
The battle ardour's in her blood --
    If she might strike one blow!

And when she sleeps at last perchance
    Her soul hath slipped away
To fields of Serbia and of France
    Until the dawn of day.

She wanders by the still moonbeam
    By dying and by dead,
And many a broken man will dream
    An angel lifts his head.

All day and night as a sweet smoke
    Her prayer ascends the skies
That all her piteous fighting folk
    May walk in Paradise.

And still her innocent pulses stir,
    Her heart is proud and high,
To think that men should die for her --
    And the marching feet go by.

Katharine Tynan

Katharine Tynan's other poems:
  1. Slow Spring
  2. The Truce of God
  3. The Crown
  4. Dead - A Prisoner
  5. Speeding

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