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Wardens Of The Wave
Not to exult in braggart vein Over a gallant foe, Or boast of triumphs on the main, The Gods alone bestow; Vainglorious clarion, clamorous drum, For which the vulgar crave, Not these, not any such, become The Wardens of the Wave. No, but when slumbering war-dogs wake, To the last gasp of breath Face combat for one's Country's sake, With male disdain of death; For this did Nelson live and die, Far from his Land and home, Making his roof-tree of the sky, His pillow on the foam. And if our race to-day recall His last triumphant doom, Place wreaths on his unfading pall, And flowers upon his tomb, 'Tis to remind us still to keep Aggression's lust in awe, And with dominion of the deep Guard Freedom, Peace, and Law. And not alone upon the waves That sentinel our shore, Service that disciplines, not enslaves, Should rule us, as of yore; So that our Island Citadel May tranquilly respond With the calm signal, ``All is well,'' To every Sea Beyond.
Alfred Austin's other poems:
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