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Poem by Henry Newbolt


With failing feet and shoulders bowed
  Beneath the weight of happier days,
He lagged among the heedless crowd,
  Or crept along suburban ways.
But still through all his heart was young,
  His mood a joy that nought could mar,
A courage, a pride, a rapture, sprung
  Of the strength and splendour of England's war.

From ill-requited toil he turned
  To ride with Picton and with Pack,
Among his grammars inly burned
  To storm the Afghan mountain-track.
When midnight chimed, before Quebec
  He watched with Wolfe till the morning star;
At noon he saw from _Victory's_ deck
  The sweep and splendour of England's war.

Beyond the book his teaching sped,
  He left on whom he taught the trace
Of kinship with the deathless dead,
  And faith in all the Island Race.
He passed: his life a tangle seemed,
  His age from fame and power was far;
But his heart was night to the end, and dreamed
  Of the sound and splendour of England's war.

Henry Newbolt

Henry Newbolt's other poems:
  1. The Quarter-Gunner's Yarn
  2. The Non-Combatant
  3. Northumberland
  4. Waggon Hill
  5. O Pulchritudo

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