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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Little Field of Peace

By Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts (1860–1943)

From ‘Book of the Native’

BY the long wash of his ancestral sea

He sleeps how quietly!

How quiet the unlifting eyelids lie

Under this tranquil sky!

The little busy hands and restless feet

Here find that rest is sweet;—

For, sweetly from the hands grown tired of play

The child-world slips away,

With its confusion of forgotten toys

And kind, familiar noise.

Not lonely does he lie in his last bed,

For love o’erbroods his head.

Kindly to him the comrade grasses lean

Their fellowship of green.

The wilding meadow companies give heed:

Brave tansy, and the weed

That on the dike-top lifts its dauntless stalk,—

Around his couch they talk.

The shadows of the oak-tree flit and play

Above his dreams all day.

The wind that was his playmate on the hills

His sleep with music fills.

Here in this tender acre by the tide

His vanished kin abide.

Ah! what compassionate care for him they keep,

Too soon returned to sleep!

They watch him in this little field of peace

Where they have found release.

Not as a stranger or alone he went

Unto his long content;

But kissed to sleep and comforted lies he

By his ancestral sea.