Sleep On

Sleep on! O soldier son, beneath
Thy narrow plot of land,
Although thy work is not yet done,
We mothers understand.

Thy soul is calling from the womb
Of earth, who sought to give
A resting place to you and those
Who died that we might live.

“O was it all for nought”? you ask,
This youth so early gone?
These sons whose broken bodies lay
All scattered in the dawn?

O men, whose minds are scheming minds,
Who yearn for power thru war,
Do we not count, who died for peace?
We too, would sleep once more

The tramp of marching feet is heard,
The whine of shot and shell;
O God forbid another youth
Should taste of fire and hell

Our mothers’ gave, our fathers’ gave
Our sisters and our wives,
Our sweethearts too smiled us good-bye,
Bravely, with tear stung eyes.

Now we have risen from our graves,
We men, you thought were dead;
How could we sleep with hatred’s cry
And slaughter over head?

O world whose restless passions toss
And turn within thy breast
Give unto us, who died for peace
The solace of sweet rest.

This Easter tide when earth sends forth
Its tendril shoots of green,
The roots of all the living plants
Are lying there, unseen;

And He, who died that life might come
Thru His great sacrifice;
Knows that we, too, were crucified,
That we, too, paid the price.

Our cavalry for some unmarked
For some, a simple cross;
And mothers know as Mary did
The bitterness of loss.

But not in vain did Her son die,
O world, we too, would feel;
The peace we sought to give is thine
This Easter to reveal.

O let us hear you say those words
And find that spirit too;
That hovers over all the earth
When Easter time is due.

Peace, perfect peace be thine, sleep;
Remembered ‘neath the sod,
Thy rest is won; and now we leave
Thee in the hands of God.

– Circa 1935

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