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Poem by Owen Seaman

To the Memory of Field-Marshall Earl Roberts

He died, as soldiers die, amid the strife,
    Mindful of England in his latest prayer;
God, of His love, would have so fair a life
            Crowned with a death as fair.

He might not lead the battle as of old,
    But, as of old, among his own he went,
Breathing a faith that never once grew cold,
            A courage still unspent.

So was his end; and, in that hour, across
    The face of War a wind of silence blew,
And bitterest foes paid tribute to the loss
            Of a great heart and true.

But we who loved him, what have we to lay
    For sign of worship on his warrior-bier?
What homage, could his lips but speak to-day,
            Would he have held most dear?

Not grief, as for a life untimely reft;
    Not vain regret for counsel given in vain;
Not pride of that high record he has left,
            Peerless and pure of stain;

But service of our lives to keep her free,
    The land he served; a pledge above his grave
To give her even such a gift as he,
            The soul of loyalty, gave.

That oath we plight, as now the trumpets swell
    His requiem, and the men-at-arms stand mute,
And through the mist the guns he loved so well
            Thunder a last salute!

Owen Seaman

Owen Seaman's other poems:
  1. For the Red Cross
  2. Tactless Tactics
  3. To Belgium in Exile
  4. Fashions for Men
  5. To an Old Fogey

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