Where , where was born the man
Whom here we are met to praise?
Was it among the multitudinous ways
Where his loved London lifts her fevered brow
For cooling Night to fan?
Nay, nay, — but yonder by the embattled tides,
Where ships of war stept out with lofty prow
And heaved their stormy sides,
And where, far heard across the gaunt sea wall,
Rises through silence the long bugle-call —
There was he born amid the forts and guns,
One of Earth's fighting sons;
There, in that place of arms and battle-gear,
Where all the proud sea babbled Nelson's name,
Into the world this later hero came,
He, too, a man that knew all moods but fear,
He, too, a Warrior.

Yet not his the strife
That leaves dark scars on the fair face of Life!
He fought to tie, fought not to hold apart,
The strings of the world's heart;
And built a broad and noble bridge to span
The icy chasm that sunders man from man.
Wherever Wrong had fixed its bastions deep,
There did his fierce yet gay assault surprise
Some fortress propped with lucre or with lies;
There his light volley abased some arrogant keep;
There charged he up the steep —
A knight on whom no palsying torpor fell,
Keen to the last to break a lance with Hell.
And still undimmed his gallant weapons shine;
On his bright sword no spot of rust appears;
And still, across the years,
His soul goes forth to battle, and in the face
Of whatsoe'er is false, or cruel, or base,
He hurls his gage, and leaps among the spears,
Being armed with pity and love, and scorn divine,
Immortal laughter, and immortal tears.
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.