Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Original Hymns.
IV. At a Funeral
By John Mason Neale (1818–1866)
 
(From “Sequences, Hymns, etc.”)

WHY march ye forth with hymn and chant
Ye veteran soldiers jubilant,
As though ye went to lay to rest
Some warrior that had done his best?
—Because we do but travel o’er        5
The road the Victor trod before;
Himself knows well the way we go:
The Son of Man is Lord also
            Of the grave-path.
 
Commit your loved one to the surge,        10
Without a wail, without a dirge?
To the wild waves’ perpetual swell,
To depths where monstrous creatures dwell?
—Yes; for we lay him but to sleep
Where those blest Feet have calmed the deep:        15
Little we reck its ebb and flow:
The Son of Man is Lord also
            Of the Ocean.
 
Leave him with thousand corpses round,
Thus buried in unhallowed ground,        20
Interred in that same scene of strife
Where man and steed gasped out their life?
—Yes: for our King and Captain boasts
His own elect, His glorious hosts;
His Victors, crowned o’er many a foe:        25
The Son of Man is Lord also
            Of the Battle.
 
Why, as across the dewy grass,
Ye through the evening Church-yard pass,
Why welcome in your bells a guest,        30
With chimings, not of woe, but rest?
—Where’er their twilight warblings steal,
We do but ring a Sabbath peal;
And, till the glorious Sunday glow,
The Son of Man is Lord also        35
            Of the Sabbath.
 
 
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