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Poem by Henry Newbolt

The School at War

All night before the brink of death
  In fitful sleep the army lay,
For through the dream that stilled their breath
  Too gauntly glared the coming day.

But we, within whose blood there leaps
  The fulness of a life as wide
As Avon's water where he sweeps
  Seaward at last with Severn's tide,

We heard beyond the desert night
  The murmur of the fields we knew,
And our swift souls with one delight
  Like homing swallows Northward flew.

We played again the immortal games,
  And grappled with the fierce old friends,
And cheered the dead undying names,
  And sang the song that never ends;

Till, when the hard, familiar bell
  Told that the summer night was late,
Where long ago we said farewell
  We said farewell by the old gate.

"O Captains unforgot," they cried,
  "Come you again or come no more,
Across the world you keep the pride,
  Across the world we mark the score."

Henry Newbolt

Henry Newbolt's other poems:
  1. The Quarter-Gunner's Yarn
  2. Northumberland
  3. The Non-Combatant
  4. Waggon Hill
  5. By the Hearth-Stone

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