Chapter 14 - (VERSO)
Over his pallid brow where one might trace
Some lingering remnant of its childhood grace
The death damp fell; but even as they said
With tender reverent sadness, “He is dead,”
His dark eyes opened; thro’ the shades of night
They seemed to pierce with strange unearthly light.
Where looked those bright eyes? Far beyond the stars
Where Heaven sets its utmost purple bars?
Or did they see across the restless sea
A spot where daisies starred an English lea,?
From the middle section of Montgomery's poem "The Last Prayer," which was first published in 1894 in The College Record, the student newspaper of Prince of Wales College. The poem is about the "last prayer" of a soldier, inviting one to wonder if Montgomery was considering a particular war (the Boer war, perhaps?) or not.
"reverent sadness": The published version says, "with tender reverend sadness." Did an editor change the word? Did Montgomery change it before sending it off for publication? There is a difference in the meaning of the two words—did she mean deserving reverence (reverend) or displaying reverence (reverent)?