The Port of London Authority

We whom great mercy holds in fear,
Boast not the claim to cry,
Stricken of any mortal wrong,
“Lord, let this live man die!”

But not incuriously we ask,
Pondering on life and death,
What name befits that round of years,
What name that span of breath.

That perfect dullness counting hands
That have no man or woman,
That fullness of the commonplace
That can despise the common.

That startling smallness that can stop
The breath like an abyss,
As staring at rows of noughts, we cry,
“And men grow old for this!”

The thing that sniggers when it sneers,
That never can forget,
The billycock outshines the cap,
And then—the coronet!

O mighty to arise and smite,
O mightier to forgive,
Sunburst that blasted Lazarus,
Lord, let this dead man live!
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