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A people's voice! we are a people yet.
And save the one true seed of freedom sown
Betwixt a people and their ancient throne,
That sober freedom out of which there springs
Our loyal passion for our temperate kings ;
Till crowds at length be sane and crowns be just.
But wink no more in slothful overtrust.
Remember him who led your hosts;
He bad you guard the sacred coasts.
Who let the turbid streams of rumour flow
Thro' either babbling world of high and low;
With rugged maxims hewn from life;
Who never spoke against a foe ;
Whose eighty winters freeze with one rebuke
Truth-teller was our England's Alfred named ;
Truth-lover was our English Duke ;
Whatever record leap to light
He never shall be shamed.
Lo, the leader in these glorious wars
Now to glorious burial slowly borne,
And affluent Fortune emptied all her horn.
Yea, let all good things await
Him who cares not to be great,
But as he saves or serves the state.
Not once or twice in our rough island-story,
For the right, and learns to deaden
Love of self, before his journey closes,
He shall find the stubborn thistle bursting
Into glossy purples, which outredden
All voluptuous garden-roses.
Thro' the long gorge to the far light has won
To which our God Himself is moon and sun.
Such was he : his work is done,
But while the races of mankind endure,
Let his great example stand
Colossal, seen of every land,
And keep the soldier firm, the statesman pure :
The path of duty be the way to glory :
And let the land whose hearths he saved from shame
For many and many an age proclaim
At civic revel and pomp and game,
And when the long-illumined cities flame,
With honour, honour, honour, honour to him,
Eternal honour to his name.
Peace, his triumph will be sung
By some yet unmoulded tongue
Far on in summers that we shall not see :
Peace, it is a day of pain
Late the little children clung :
O peace, it is a day of pain
Once the weight and fate of Europe hung.