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Short poem

Marjorie Pickthall (1883-1922)

Marching Men

              1Under the level winter sky
              2I saw a thousand Christs go by.
              3They sang an idle song and free
              4As they went up to calvary.

              5Careless of eye and coarse of lip,
              6They marched in holiest fellowship.
              7That heaven might heal the world, they gave
              8Their earth-born dreams to deck the grave.

              9With souls unpurged and steadfast breath
            10They supped the sacrament of death.
            11And for each one, far off, apart,
            12Seven swords have rent a woman's heart.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Marjorie L. C. Pickthall, The Wood Carver's Wife (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1922): 99. PS 8531 I35W6 1922 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1922
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/10

Rhyme: aabb

Other poems by Marjorie Pickthall