Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE, by EDWIN ARNOLD

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: If on this verse of mine
Last Line: Take thee to joy when hand and heart are still!
Subject(s): Crimean War (1853-1856); Nightingale, Florence (1820-1910); Russia; Soviet Union; Russians

IF on this verse of mine
Those eyes shall ever shine,
Whereto sore-wounded men have looked for life,
Think not that for a rhyme,
Nor yet to fit the time,
I name thy name, -- true victress in this strife!
But let it serve to say
That, when we kneel to pray,
Prayers rise for thee thine ear shall never know;
And that thy gallant deed,
For God, and for our need,
Is in all hearts, as deep as love can go.

'T is good that thy name springs
From two of earth's fair things, --
A stately city and a soft-voiced bird;
'T is well that in all homes,
When thy sweet story comes,
And brave eyes fill, -- that pleasant sounds be heard.
O voice! in night of fear,
As night's bird, soft to hear;
O great heart! raised like city on a hill;
O watcher! worn and pale,
Good Florence Nightingale,
Thanks, loving thanks, for thy large work and will!
England is glad of thee, --
Christ, for thy charity,
Take thee to joy when hand and heart are still!

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