The Book of the Native

by Charles G.D. Roberts


The Little Field of Peace


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 dyke-top lifts its dauntless stalk,—
    Around his couch they talk.
The shadows of his 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.