The Bond

written by Frederick William (FW) Harvey

The Bond

— Frederick William (FW) Harvey

Once, I remember, when we were at home
I had come into church, and waited late,
Ere lastly kneeling to communicate
Alone : and thinking that you would not come.

Then, with closed eyes (having received the Host)
I prayed for your dear self, and turned to rise ;
When lo ! beside me like a blessed ghost —
Nay, a grave sunbeam — you I Scarcely my eyes
Could credit it, so softly had you come
Beside me as I thought I walked alone.

Thus long ago ; but now, when fate bereaves
Life of old joys, how often as I'm kneeling
To take the Blessed Sacrifice that weaves
Life's tangled threads, so broken to man's seeing,
Into one whole ; I have the sudden feeling
That you are by, and look to see a face
Made in fair flesh beside me, and all my being
Thrills with the old sweet wonder and faint fear
As in that sabbath hour — how long ago ! —
When you had crept so lightly to your place.
Then, then, I know
(My heart can always tell) that you are near.

About the poet


Frederick William (FW) Harvey

Frederick William Harvey was an English poet, known for poems composed in prisoner-of-war camps at Krefeld and Gütersloh that were sent back to England, during World War I. He was born in Hartpury, Gloucestershire. He was educated at the King's School, Gloucester, where he formed a close friendship with Ivor Gurney, and then at Rossall School. Gurney and Herbert Howells, another local composer, would set a number of his poems to music. He started on a legal career, which would always be somewhat tentative. He became a Roman Catholic convert in 1914, and shortly after joined the Gloucestershire Regiment as a private soldier, as World War I broke out. Serving in France, he was awarded the D. C. M. in...

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