McDowall, Cecilia: Standing as I do before God

Standing as I do before God (2014)

I have seen death so often that it is not strange or fearful to me.
Standing as I do in view of God and eternity,
I realise patriotism is not enough:
I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.
And when the time was close,
For once her eyes filled with tears,
Then she quietly rose, walked silently through the stilled prison,
The grey dawn light, passed gas flame,
Tired flowers, out beyond her final night,
A flame alight in hours before infinity,
In the presence of death leaving all enmity:
In view of God we are air after breath.
Standing as I do.

Words: Edith Cavell (1865–1915) and Seán Street (b. 1946)
Music: Cecilia McDowall (b. 1951)