Cicely Fox Smith
Lords Of The Sea - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
Great captains of the bygone days, -
Whose spirits 'mid our spirits lurk, -
Who fearless trod the ocean ways,
Look down and see your handiwork!
The Lion from his island height
Sways all the sea from Pole to Pole:
On outer deep and inmost bight
He sees his armoured fleets patrol.
Eastward and Westward, North and South,
His vessels ply 'twixt alien strands,
Bearing from every harbour-mouth
The garnered wealth of many lands.
Little of riches did you reck,
Small meed you asked for toilsome years,
But death upon some reeling deck,
The noise of battle in your ears.
For you, - who full on France and Spain
Your smiling scorn defiant hurled;
The roving kings of trackless main,
The landless lords of half the world, -
For you the young heart throbs with joy,
For you the victor-soul awakes,
For you, in many an English boy
The flame of patriot fervour breaks.
Reading the tales of long ago,
When Drake and Grenville sailed and slew,
In kindred souls the kindred glow
Leaps up to win such fame anew.
Ours, ours the thrash of trampled seas,
Where Howe and England's Nelson fought:
God grant us strength of such as these
To guard the fame our fathers sought.
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