Victoria To James Moorhouse


He came, a stranger, and we gave him welcome
More as loved friend than rumour's honoured guest.
He spoke! Were we, then, all so slack to listen?
To hail him as our wisest, noblest, best?
Why did he leave us?

He toiled! And we, we under such a leader,
Forgot all other creeds, but that he taught,
And proud of our clear answer to his summons,
Forgot all other fights but that he fought!
Why did he leave us?

He wearied! 'Twas too great, he said, the burden.
We saw it and we cried with anxious love;
"What does he (Let him back!) down in the battle?
Is not the general's place at rest above?"
Why did he leave us?

He left us for a "wider sphere of labour!"
A tinsel seat within a House that shakes,
To herd with priests meal-mouthed, with lords and liars
That still would bind a nation's chain that breaks!
Why did he leave us?

Farewell, then! Are there any to reproach you
In all this facile crowd that weeps and cheers?
Not one! But, ah you yet shall listen sadly
To an echo falling faint through the dead years: -
Why did he leave us?