The muster roll



A True War Incident.




A BATTLE had been fought,

And on the plain, unmindful of defeat

Or victory, the slain and wounded lay.

Grim Death was busy still, unsatisfied,

Gathering the remnants of that sad day’s spoil.

As night drew on,

Two men of God were seen, moving amid

Those scenes of death and dying agony,

As, nerved by heavenly strength and tender care

For souls, they sought to comfort dying saints

By whispering in their ears His promises,

From Whom nor life nor death can separate;

And to the Lamb of God, Whose precious blood

Can cleanse from every sin, to point the gaze

Of those, whose day of life was almost past,

Their sins yet unforgiven.

And now they stand

Beside a manly form, outstretched alone.

His helmet from his head had fallen. His hand

Still firmly grasped his keen but broken sword.

His face was white and cold; and, thinking he was gone,

They were just passing on, for time was precious,

When a faint sigh caught their attentive ears.

Life was still there; so, bending softly down,

They whispered in his ears most earnestly,

Yet with that hush and gentleness with which

We ever speak to a departing soul:--

“Brother, the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Cleanseth us from all sin.”

The pale lips moved,

And gently whispered, “Hush!” and then they closed,

And life again seemed gone:--

But yet once more

They whispered those thrice-blessed words, in hope

To point the parting soul to Christ and Heaven,

“Brother, the precious blood of Jesus Christ

Can cleanse from every sin.”

Again the pale lips moved;

All else was still and motionless, for Death

Already had his fatal work half done;

But gathering up his quickly failing strength,

The dying soldier--dying VICTOR--said,

“Hush!” the SAVIOUR calls the muster-roll;

I wait to hear my name!”

They spoke no more.

What need to speak again? For now full well

They knew on Whom his dying hopes were fixed,

And what his prospects were; so, hushed and still,

They, kneeling, watched--

And presently a smile,

As of most thrilling and intense delight,

Played for a moment upon the soldier’s face,

And with one last breath he whispered, “HERE!”

O! grand And blessed death! Quite ready for the call,

He heard His Captain’s voice. Life’s battle fought--

Life’s victory won--the soldier thus received

His welcome and his crown!


From: Confidence, Vol. VIII, No. 5, May 1915, pag. 83, Sunderland, England