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The Healers

 In a vision of the night I saw them, 
In the battles of the night.
'Mid the roar and the reeling shadows of blood They were moving like light, Light of the reason, guarded Tense within the will, As a lantern under a tossing of boughs Burns steady and still.
With scrutiny calm, and with fingers Patient as swift They bind up the hurts and the pain-writhen Bodies uplift, Untired and defenceless; around them With shrieks in its breath Bursts stark from the terrible horizon Impersonal death; But they take not their courage from anger That blinds the hot being; They take not their pity from weakness; Tender, yet seeing; Feeling, yet nerved to the uttermost; Keen, like steel; Yet the wounds of the mind they are stricken with, Who shall heal? They endure to have eyes of the watcher In hell, and not swerve For an hour from the faith that they follow, The light that they serve.
Man true to man, to his kindness That overflows all, To his spirit erect in the thunder When all his forts fall, — This light, in the tiger-mad welter, They serve and they save.
What song shall be worthy to sing of them — Braver than the brave?

Poem by Laurence Binyon
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