Sir Henry Newbolt.
YE have robbd, said he, ye have slaughterd and made an end,
Take your ill-got plunder,
and bury the dead:
What will ye more of your guest and sometime friend?
Blood for our blood, they
He laughd: If one may settle the score for five,
I am ready; but let the reckoning stand till day:
have loved the sunlight as dearly as any alive.
You shall die at dawn, said they.
He flung his empty revolver down the slope,
He climbd alone to the Eastward edge of the
All night long in a dream untroubled of hope
He brooded, clasping his knees.
He did not hear the monotonous roar that fills
The ravine where the Yassîn river sullenly flows;
did not see the starlight on the Laspur hills,
Or the far Afghan snows.
He saw the April noon on his books aglow,
The wistaria trailing in at the window wide;
heard his fathers voice from the terrace below
Calling him down to ride.
He saw the gray little church across the park,
The mounds that hid the loved and honourd
The Norman arch, the chancel softly dark,
The brasses black and red.
He saw the School Close, sunny and green,
The runner beside him, the stand by the parapet
The distant tape, and the crowd roaring between,
His own name over all.
He saw the dark wainscot and timberd roof,
The long tables, and the faces merry and keen;
College Eight and their trainer dining aloof,
The Dons on the daëis serene.
He watchd the liners stem ploughing the foam,
He felt her trembling speed and the thrash of
He heard the passengers voices talking of home,
He saw the flag she flew.
And now it was dawn. He rose strong on his feet,
And strode to his ruind camp below the
He drank the breath of the morning cool and sweet:
His murderers round him stood.
Light on the Laspur hills was broadening fast,
The blood-red snow-peaks chilld to a dazzling
He turnd, and saw the golden circle at last,
Cut by the Eastern height.
O glorious Life, Who dwellest in earth and sun,
I have lived, I praise and adore Thee.
Over the pass the voices one by one
Faded, and the hill slept.
THIS is the Chapel: here, my son,
Your father thought the thoughts of youth,
And heard the
words that one by one
The touch of Life has turnd to truth.
Here in a day that is not far,
You too may speak
with noble ghosts
Of manhood and the vows of war
You made before the Lord of Hosts.
To set the cause above renown,
To love the game beyond the prize,
To honour, while you
strike him down,
The foe that comes with fearless eyes;
To count the life of battle good,
And dear the land
that gave you birth,
And dearer yet the brotherhood
That binds the brave of all the earth.
My son, the oath is yours: the end
Is His, Who built the world of strife,
Who gave His children
Pain for friend,
And Death for surest hope of life.
To-day and here the fights begun,
Of the great fellowship
Henceforth the School and you are one,
And what You are, the race shall be.
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