Missing -- Believed Killed: On reading a Mother's letter

Original Text: 
Rev. Studdert Kennedy, M.C., C.F. ("Woodbine Willy"), More Rough Rhymes of a Padre (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1919): 88-89. 1919 (5) 168 Cambridge University Library
1'Twere heaven enough to fill my heart
2    If only one would stay,
3Just one of all the million joys
4    God gives to take away.
5If I could keep one golden dawn,
6    The splendour of one star,
7One silver glint of yon bird's wing
8    That flashes from afar;
9If I could keep the least of things
10    That make me catch my breath
11To gasp with wonder at God's world
12    And hold it back from death,
13It were enough; but death forbids.
14    The sunset flames to fade,
15The velvet petals of this rose
16    Fall withered -- brown -- decayed.
17She only asked to keep one thing,
18    The joy light in his eyes:
19God has not even let her know
20    Where his dead body lies.
21O grave, where is Thy victory?
23Thy victory is ev'rywhere,
24    Thy sting's in ev'rything.


22] See 1 Corinthians 15: 51-57.
Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
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