George Meredith

(12 February 1828 – 18 May 1909 / Portsmouth, England)

The Voyage Of The 'Ophir'


Men of our race, we send you one
Round whom Victoria's holy name
Is halo from the sunken sun
Of her grand Summer's day aflame.
The heart of your loved Motherland,
To them she loves as her own blood,
This Flower of Ocean bears in hand,
Assured of gift as good.

Forth for our Southern shores the fleet
Which crowns a nation's wisdom steams,
That there may Briton Briton greet,
And stamp as fact Imperial dreams.
Across the globe, from sea to sea,
The long smoke-pennon trails above,
Writes over sky how wise will be
The Power that trusts to love.

A love that springs from heart and brain
In union gives for ripest fruit
The concord Kings and States in vain
Have sought, who played the lofty brute,
And fondly deeming they possessed,
On force relied, and found it break:
That truth once scored on Britain's breast
Now keeps her mind awake.

Australian, Canadian,
To tone old veins with streams of youth,
Our trust be on the best in man
Henceforth, and we shall prove that truth.
Prove to a world of brows down-bent
That in the Britain thus endowed,
Imperial means beneficent,
And strength to service vowed.

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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