Lift Up Your Hearts
[unnumbered page, includes illustration: CANON FREDERICK GEORGE SCOTT
C.M.G., D.S.O., V.D., D.C.L., F.R.S.C.
First Canadian Division, C.E.F., 1914-1919]
Lift up your hearts. All will come
right. Out of the depths of sorrow
and sacrifice will be born again the
glory of mankind.
THE RYERSON PRESS ~ TORONTO
COPYRIGHT, CANADA, 1941, BY
THE RYERSON PRESS, TORONTO
All rights reserved. No part of this
book may be reproduced in any
form, by mimeograph, or any other
means (except by reviewers for the
public press), without permission
in writing from the publishers.
The author’s royalties from the sale
of this book will be donated to the
Queen’s Fund, London, England,
for the relief of civilian war victims.
Lift Up Your Hearts
“LIFT UP YOUR HEARTS”
The garden that I love the best is the garden of the sky; There are no lilies half so white as the clouds that wander by, No blue-bells have a deeper hue than the highways of the day Till roses redden in the West when the sun has gone away. And, sweeping down the garden paths, the winds stoop down and bring The scent of far sky-meadows where wild birds on the wing Like thoughts are flitting here and there in freedom’s ecstasy, Forgetting all the world below and the nest on rock and tree. No power of man can shut me out from the garden of the sky, For I can mount on spirit wings where no one passes by; I can pluck the hues of morning and wear them for a crown, Or lie at ease upon the clouds when the tired day goes down. [page 3] And all the gates are golden gates and fancy holds the key And gives me ownership of all above the land and sea; I hear no more the noisy world but, guided by a star, I drift beneath the dome of night to where fresh beauties are. Quebec.
SHOULD FREEDOM FALL
Should Freedom fall and I had held aloof, What would my days be—days and months and years, My vision gone, my laughter drowned in tears And every heart-beat stinging with reproof; What bed would bring me sleep, what sheltering roof Would shield me from the lightning hail of fears And mockery of a world whose scorn and jeers Would crush me in the mire beneath its hoof? When young and old were slaughtered day and night, And pity, love and mercy cast aside, When monster hordes, in their satanic might, Were tearing down the cross on which Christ died, If I had held aloof and gone my way, Hell’s worm and fire would gnaw me night and day. September 12, 1940. [page 4]
O ye winged valour of our nation’s soul, Courageous Hearts, ye dauntless soar on high, Forgetting earth and not afraid to die. Beneath you, seas illimitable roll And strip the icebergs from each glittering pole; Engulfing clouds like monsters pass you by, And night enwraps you in the lonely sky, But nought diverts you from your destined goal. Ye bear on high the banner of our Land, Out-soaring eagles in their loftiest flight, Swift as the lightning on your headlong race; And when invisible death on every hand Darts his swift arrows, mounting out of sight, Ye guard our realms from battlements in space. November 3, 1940.
Heart unto heart unfolding one great aim— A world redeemed from tyrants and their shame, Americans and British side by side Breast now the flood of wrong’s unhallowed tide. Brothers in blood, brothers in mind and soul, Your phalanxed strength in one long battle roll Is herald of the dawn that ends the night And phantom forms of evil puts to flight. Out of the wrack and turmoil of the time, With strong endeavour in a cause sublime, Ye are God’s pledge that men shall one day see The downfall of man’s blood-red tyranny. August, 1940. [page 5]
THE VALLEY OF DECISION
O France, proud France, where sleep our million dead, Birthplace of saints, of noble chivalry, And high adventure on the land and sea, Our soul with thine in one great cause was wed And our hearts’ blood with thine for thee was shed, But visions of a greater world to be Held back our tears. Our brotherhood with thee Hung star-like o’er the dawn towards which we sped. O France, the Traitor now our loves would part; With lying lips he would enslave thy soul And force by wiles thy loyal hands to thrust A dagger deep into thy comrade’s heart. Sister, beware! If he thine honour stole, He would but grind thee deeper in the dust. August 23, 1940.
THE STRONGHOLD OF GOD
O stronghold of the ways of God Dear mountains breathe in me your calm, Those peaks where never man has trod Are to my tortured mind a balm. Defiant of man’s petty strife, Ye stand unmoved beneath the sky; No hail, no storm with lightning rife Can blast your godlike majesty. For this God set you on the rim Of our round world to lift the soul Through storm and tempest up to Him Who holds man in supreme control. [page 6] When selfish aims our ways confound And we like insects blindly grope For nurture in the fields around, You fill us with a larger hope. The truths obscured by earthly strain, The verities of place and time, Emerge from out our harassed brain, And man like you becomes sublime. He too was moulded by the Handed Which built your peaks against the sky, But higher heights for him are planned In an immortal destiny.
Minions of Hell and Satan, do your worst; Drown our poor children, topple down our fanes, Count old and shattered bodies for your gains, When on their quiet homes the bombs have burst; Gorge on the quivering flesh and slake your thirst In human blood on streets and country lanes. Yours is a noble calling, worth the pains Which moulded you into beast accurst. But, monsters, know this: that our sires have wrought Behind the fabrics which your fires destroy, A Britain built by all that’s best in man, An everlasting dome of lofty thought, Of high resolve, of brotherhood and joy. This, this is Britain. Crush her if you can! October 21, 1940. [page 7]
I dreamt the war was over and the long green fields of grain Were ripening in the sunshine, for peace had come again; The birds were singing gaily, no clouds were on the sky, And the children laughed and frolicked as they did in days gone by. But the waking, oh, the waking, with the siren screams above— “Hush, darling, come to mother’s arms; be still, my little love.” Those dreams that come so early in the darkness of the dawn, Before the stars have vanished or night her veil withdrawn, Are full of happy faces, my childhood comes again, For I know that up in Heaven there is neither death nor pain. But the waking, oh, the waking, with the scream of shells above— “Hush, darling, come to mother’s arms; be still, my little love.” I dreamt last night of England, the England I had known, But it had somehow changed; ah, yes, more beautiful had grown. [page 8] The skies were bluer than before, the people were more kind, For rich and poor and high and low had but one heart and mind. But the waking, oh, the waking, with the roar of guns above— “Hush, darling, come to mother’s arms; be still, my little love.” And once I dreamt a long, long dream all through a silent night, For angel forms were passing by in a strange and golden light, While a soft voice whispered near me, “Bow down, faint Soul, bow down, For these go up to Calvary to win the victor’s crown.” But the waking, oh, the waking, with the crash of worlds above— “Hush, darling, come to mother’s arms; be still, my little love.” February 18, 1941. [page 9]
We have been fools, and grievous fools still are— Wrangling in hate and blood and lust of power Which spoil the joy and freshness of man’s hour Of tiny life upon this lovely star. Could they have voice, star systems from afar And planets dead in meteoric shower Would scorn man’s claim to have a godlike dower Of heavenly wisdom, whom such failings mar. Yet somewhere, throned invisible in space, The Eternal Architect who built the skies, Who is the Fount of beauty, truth and love, For some majestic purpose formed our race And quells our waywardness. Faith lifts her eyes And sees His constant guidance from above.
CANADA TO AUSTRALIA
Not only through the heart but through the limbs Of our great Empire flows the lion’s blood— That full, rich blood of courage, love and right, That brother blood which binds strong men in one, That dauntless purpose scorning pain and death, That wild, free life resistless as the sea. So now, Australia, mighty Commonwealth, We hail thy triumph as another gem Set in the Crown of Britain. Not alone Your pride exalts you, for your pride is ours. So close and interwoven are our realms That seas unite them under different stars. [page 10] We pledge to thee our love and this resolve That, come what may of hardship, grief or death, We too will stand undaunted to the end To share with thee our Empire’s victory.
GOD IS MY STRENGTH
God is my strength—He underlies my life, My soul, though mine, lies passive in His Hand; God talks with me and gives me peace in strife, And in His light I walk and understand. God is my friend, He shapes and moulds my will; God, my physician, probes and cleans my wrong; God brings me harmony and, small and still, His voice attunes me to the heavenly song. God is my strength—Beneath the changing years, He lives and moves and breathes into my breath; His thoughts are wings and, high above all fears, They bear me to the golden gates of death. August 23, 1939. [page 11]
Against the blazoned Eastern sky The bugle call is sounding— A day to live, a day to die, A day with life abounding; The quickened manhood in my veins Drives out all thought of former pains. At home, the prayers of child and wife, The love of maid and mother; Out here, the glory and the strife And brother linked with brother; Out here, the hours so full and fleet, And duty’s cup, so bitter sweet. O splendour of the rising sun Across the dark earth pouring! Above the roar of shell and gun My heart is madly soaring; For every soldier good and true Begins each day his life anew.
BRITAIN TO AMERICA
Not as a mendicant with piteous whine Ask we your aid in this most bitter hour, But as your lone defenders from the power Of Satan’s minions. In the fierce front line, With heads unbowed, in a crusade divine, We guard man’s liberty. We do not cower Before the foe; nay, as the dark clouds lower, The Star of Freedom doth more brightly shine. [page 12] What can we give you, for our means run low? Gold? Yea, rich gold, ideals pure and high, Courage to breast wrong’s huge on-coming flood, Sweat of strong men and widows’ tearless woe, Wreckage of beauty, even the children’s cry From shattered homes,—your payment is our blood! January 29, 1941.
O France rise up, shake off the tyrant’s heel Upon thy neck, thou wast not born for chains, Thy soul was of the morning, wide as heaven, Thy beauty was the bounteous gift of God. Through cloud and mist, thine eyes beheld His Face And visioned truth upheld thee with her wings. Where is St. Louis, where the wondrous Maid, Who led thine arms and King to victory? Thy spirit is not dead, no treachery Or selfish meanness in the hearts of men, Not of thy breed, can crush thee in the dust, If but thou wilt look backward to thy past And onward to the days that lie ahead, In that new age when France shall reign once more, A guide and inspiration to Mankind. We shed no tears In our own grief, it is not ours to weep When war bursts on us with its hellish power, But we could weep for France, the Queen that was, When she lies low beneath the foul command Of force that scorns all that was best in her. [page 13] Rise up, O France, the world hath need of thee, Thy torch of liberty uphold on high. The million heroes from thy loins behold In heavenly courts the face of Him who reigns To guard our righteousness. Their prayers ascend Before His throne. With one great voice they cry For thy deliverance. Rise, break thy chains And, crowned with dawn, march on to victory.
Lay his white form among the darkened tombs Of Potentates and Kings, and near the dust Of that Apostle who once mended nets By Galilee, until he heard God’s call. Let not the rumbling of huge armoured-cars Nor traffic of fierce nations break his rest; Through sleepless hours his heart was wracked with grief For evil days to come upon the Earth; Long nights of suffering found him praying for peace In a distracted world of wayward men. God’s chariots are twenty thousand, but They make no noise, bearing the wounded off From warring nations to the fleet of Christ, Who is man’s pledge of brotherhood, whose love Has drained life’s bitter cup unto the dregs. The last word on his dying lips was “Peace”; It was his message to a darkened world, When on his vision burst the dawn of Christ. February 16, 1939. [page 14]
The hosts of youth are marching in the day-spring of their life, They are mounting up the highway and they face the distant goal; They crave not praise nor pity as they gird them for the strife, But their cry goes up for ever, “Give us freedom of the soul.” The hosts of youth are marching, they have broken down the bars Of the world our fathers left us which we cherished for our own, For they found earth full of beauty and the night ablaze with stars And the spirit sweeps them onward in the lire of the unknown. The hosts of youth are marching and their hearts are all aflame With the glory of the sunrise in the land that gave them birth, No leader goes before them and their visions none can name, But they go to take possession of the Kingdom of the Earth. [page 15]
I wandered alone by the shining sea And my heart was heavy and sore, But the Lord came over the waves to me And my heart was sad no more. The robe He wore was the blue of the sky The waves before Him smiled, And His eyes wore the gaze of a mother’s eyes When she looks at her wayward child. Yes, out of the mighty deep He came, The realm of the sun and stars, But He wore on His head no crown of flame And His hands were pierced with scars. The breeze was a censer of golden love And the waves a heavenly choir, For under the wings outstretched above, I found my heart’s desire.
Lord of the blood-stained lands, thy shield is white— White as the snow which erstwhile was thy friend; Thou valiant spear-head in the cause of Right, Thy name and deeds will be a guiding light In all man’s high endeavours to the end. March 13, 1940. [page 16]
The honour shield of Britain Shines over land and sea, And on it burns the watchword That all men shall be free; No power of upstart nations Can blast it from the earth, For God has given man freedom By heritage of birth. Rise up, O mighty Sister, Gird on thy sword to fight, We twain must stand together To champion human right; The cries of anguished peoples Have pierced us to the heart, Great land and home of freedom, Rise up and do your part. May 6, 1941.
The hills may crumble into dust, The earth may swallow up the sea, But nought can shake my living trust In Him whose firm hands moulded me. For when I draw myself apart From things which make my vision dim, Deep in the silence of my heart He meets me and I speak with Him. [page 17]
What word did Duty say, As he passed by today And found me helpless, lying vanquished by the way? My sword was red with rust, My throat was choked with dust, But Duty looked and said unpityingly, “Thou must.” Then straight a burst of fire Rekindled my desire, And I sprang up iron-willed, determined to aspire.
THE INNER SHRINE
Vex not my soul with all this empty striving Of warring state-craft and ambitious creeds, For not through these shall come man’s great arriving, But by the silent path of Christlike deeds. Christ saw no race nor class where He was feeding The hungry thousands with the bread of life, No trumpets sounded when His feet were bleeding,— Heroic victor in heroic strife. Rise then, my brother, cast the world behind you, Shoulder the cross and follow in the line, Whate’er your creed, the Master’s eyes will find you And you shall meet Him at the inner shrine. [page 18]
The glad and brave young heart Had come across the sea. He longed to play his part In crushing tyranny. The mountains and the plains Of his beloved land Were wine within his veins And gave an iron hand. He scorned the thought of fear, He murmured not at pain, The call of God was clear, The path of duty plain. Beneath the shower of lead, Of poison and of fire, He charged and fought and bled, Ablaze with one desire. O Canada, with pride Look up and greet the morn, Since of thy wounded side Such breed of men is born.
The poem above was written in the fierce fighting following the gas attack at Ypres on April 22, 1915. I was puzzled how to get it out of our lines because Vlammertinghe was being heavily shelled and we had no post office. Finally, I found a British general going back and I gave it to his chauffeur to post when he could.—F.G.S. [page 19]
“SING OF ME, O POET”
The Age said unto me: “Sing of me, O Poet, for I am magnificent; I am the father of all the ages that are to be; My voice is the voice of artillery, it is louder than thunder. My hands hold the lightnings of death; My heart bursts with the stored-up hatreds of humanity. I am ruthless—kings, priests, empires are swept away by the waft of my wing. I know no bounds to my will, I fear not the wreckage of gods. My thirst is for the blood of men, My hands would make a shambles of the world; My thoughts like arrows pierce beyond the galaxies of space. Sing of me, O Poet, for I am moulding all things to my will; I have dethroned God, fall at my feet and worship.” But I saw the light on the everlasting hills, I saw the smile on a child’s face, I felt the grip of a friend’s hand, And I said, “In God is my strength.” [page 20]
THE SPELL OF NATURE
There is no wisdom in the ways of men Like that which dwells within some wooded glen, Where fitful breezes part the trees on high And show blue spaces of the open sky. The stream that tumbles from some unseen height And sings a song most loudly heard at night Tells more of God than all the monstrous tomes In college courts or ‘neath cathedral domes. And oft when weary with the cares of life, Of warring nations and ancestral strife, I seek such quiet nook and lie at ease Companion only of the rocks and trees. The little sounds that by the soul are heard, Some falling leaflet or some twittering bird, Steal through the silence and have power to heal The grief which none can utter, only feel. Then fading like a memory of the past The world slips from me and a spell is cast Around my soul until I drift apart And dwell with loving nature, heart to heart. [page 21]
O Canada, my country and my love, O Canada, with cloudless skies above, Where e’er I roam, Where e’er my home, My heart goes back to thee, Thy lakes and streams, Thy boundless dreams, Thy rivers running free. O Canada, O Canada, God pour His blessings on thee from above, O Canada, my country and my love.
Written in Armentières, France, 1915, and sung by the Soldiers in the Y.M.C.A. Hut on the Newe Eglise road, near Ploegsteert.
THE COLOURS OF THE FLAG
What is blue on our flag, boys? The waves of the boundless sea, Where our vessels ride in their tameless pride And the feet of the winds are free; From the sun and smiles of the coral isles To the ice of the South and North, With dauntless tread through tempests dread The guardian ships go forth. What is the white on our flag, boys? The honour of our land, Which burns in our sight like a beacon light And stands while the hills shall stand; Yes, dearer than fame is our land’s great name, And we fight, wherever we be, For the mothers and wives that pray for the lives Of the brave hearts over the sea. [page 22] What is the red on our flag, boys? The blood of our heroes slain On the burning sands in the wild waste lands And the froth of the purple main. And it cries to God from the crimsoned sod And the crest of the waves outrolled That He send us men to fight again As our fathers fought of old. We will stand by the dear old flag, boys, Whatever be said or done, Though the shots come fast, as we face the blast, And the foe be ten to one; — Though our only reward be the thrust of a sword And a bullet in heart or brain, What matters one gone, if the flag float on And Britain be lord of the main. [page 23]
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