Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PATIENCE, by HENRY CHAPPELL



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PATIENCE, by            
First Line: With drooping head sweet patience sighs and sees
Last Line: And peace return to earth on shining wing.
Subject(s): Corpses; Death; Graves; Cadavers; Dead, The; Tombs; Tombstones


WITH drooping head sweet Patience sighs and sees,
Wet eyed, the hot impatient throng below,
And hears the blast of human folly blow
As wintry gales amid the forest trees.

Not those she mourns who leap into the fray,
For they have bowed to her and she has smiled;
And all their time of waiting has beguiled
By faithful promise of the coming day:

Nor those her subjects, who, whole-hearted, cope
With headstrong blindness or a meaner aim,
And all the virtues of her sceptre claim
By quiet deeds and words of cheer and hope:

But those who turn her gentle hand away
And build without foundation on the sand,
And conjure by the mouth a better land
Evolved from chaos in a single day.

Great battlements must fall to vocal wrath
And mountains melt to nothingness and fade.
Such is the power of their forensic blade
That armies wilt and vanish from their path.

They scale the dire peninsula at will;
Its frowning bastions quail before their ire;
No whit they care for ball or searing fire,
E'en Death's cold hand (on others) cannot chill.

Heedless of any ill they may entail
To plans clear-sighted of the guiding brain,
That weighs each separate link within the chain,
Knowing an Empire falls if one link fail.

To such as these I say, let men who know,
Guide this great matter to its destined end;
Better a foe avowed than carping friend,
Whose mouthings may deflect a vital blow.

Bow you to Patience; her sure hand shall bring
Her gentle sisters forth into the light:
Bellona's star shall sink in endless night
And Peace return to earth on shining wing.





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