Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SPECTRAL ARMY, by GRETCHEN OSGOOD WARREN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE SPECTRAL ARMY, by            
First Line: I dream that on far heaven's steep
Last Line: They left the reckoning to god.
Subject(s): Death; World War I; Dead, The; First World War

I DREAM that on far heaven's steep
To-night Christ lets me stand by Him
To see the many million ghosts
Tramp up Death's highway, wide and dim.

The young are older than the old,
Their eyes are strained, their faces gray
With horror's twilight dropped too soon
Upon a scarcely opened day.

The guns move light as carven mist,
The weary footsteps make no sound,
As up the never-ending hill
They come on their last death-march bound.

Their heads are lifted. As they pass
They look at Christ's red wounds, and smile
In gallant comradeship: they know
Golgotha's terrible defile.

They too have drained a bitter gall,
Heart's Calvary they know full well,
And every man, or old or young,
Has stared into the deeps of Hell.

Yet brave and gay that spectral host
Goes by. Like Christ, on bloody sod
They gladly paid a price, like Him
They left the Reckoning to God.

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