The Lord’s Messengers by Matthew Arnold

Thus saith the Lord to his own:
“See ye the trouble below?
Warfare of man from his birth!
Too long let we them groan;
Haste, arise ye, and go,
Carry my peace upon earth!”

Gladly they rise at his call,
Gladly obey his command,
Gladly descend to the plain.
–Ah! How few of them all,
Those willing servants, shall stand
In the Master’s presence again!

Some in the tumult are lost;
Baffled, bewilder’d, they stray.
Some, as prisoners, draw breath.
Some, unconquer’d, are cross’d
(Not yet half through the day)
By a pitiless arrow of Death.

Hardly, hardly shall one
Come, with countenance bright,
At the close of day, from the plain;
His Master’s errand well done,
Safe through the smoke of the fight,
Back to his Master again.

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