Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE WAY OF THE CROSS, by AMELIA JOSEPHINE BURR



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ON THE WAY OF THE CROSS, by            
First Line: On the way of the cross we were comrades
Last Line: And your children forever be comrades?
Subject(s): Moscow; World War I; First World War


On the way of the cross we were comrades.
There was weariness passing all words, there was hunger and thirst,
There was sickness of body and mind, there was cold, there was sorrow,
And the dead hurried into the ground with no time for their prayers, --
But we buried them close to the road, as the others had done
Who had gone on before us. We prayed for their dead as we passed,
As we knew that the ones coming after would pray for our dead.
On the way of the cross we were comrades.
We thought we had suffered all pain that the world has to give,
But here in the city, with shelter and comfort and rest,
Is a pain that was not on the road. There is loneliness here.
We could not have trusted our graves to the prayers of the city.
Here we are mouths for the bread that already is scant --
On the way of the cross we were comrades.

How often, our Father in Heaven, must we learn and forget?
On the way of the cross we are comrades.
But when we are safe in the city, the vision grows dim,
Hand slips from hand, and the hearts that were quick with Your fire
Grow clinkered and dull. You have seen it so often -- and yet
Why is Your patience not weary? Because You are God
Are You sure there is coming a day (is it ours? is it ours?)
When the streets of the City shall be as the Way of the Cross,
And Your children forever be comrades?





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