Alfred Austin

(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

Wardens Of The Wave - Poem by Alfred Austin

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.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 8, 2010



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