Gerald Massey: My Lyrical Life IV.

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Behold a phantom-form appears, majestic in its gloom!
Mournfully it looks across a Chasm deep as doom:
A quivering heartache seems to move its withered, wordless lips;
Familiar eyes are kindling through their wan light of eclipse:
It is the Ancient Mother rising, Sphinx-like, 'mid her sands,
To plead with those who will not hear.   She wrings her wrinkled 
Yearns over both.    As Brothers long ago she brought them forth,
Her dusky darlings and her great white Heroes of the North!
The Children have no memories of the Morning-Land, and yet
The Mother's heart remembers, though all the world forget.

We look with horror, when the blood grows 
On that which stung us hotly enough of old;
Blame me not wantonly: I do but draw
Faintly the thing we felt; the sight we saw!




"COME hither, my brave Soldier boy, and sit you 
by my side,
 To hear the tale, a fearful tale, a glorious tale 
of pride;
 How Havelock with his handful, all so faithful 
and so few,
 Held on in that far Indian land, to bear our 
England through
 Her bloodiest pass of peril, and her reddest sea 
of wrath;
 And strode like Paladins of old on their avenging
 Though clothes were drenched, and flesh was 
parched, or bones were chilled with cold,
 The gallant hearts never gave up; they never 
loosed their hold;
 But fought right on, and triumphed, till our eyes 
rained as we read
 How proudly every place was filled, with living 
and with dead.

"The stillness of a brooding storm lay on that 
Eastern land;
The dark death-circle narrowed round our little 
English band:
The false Sepoy stooped lower for his spring, and 
in his eye
A bloody light was burning on them, as he 
glided by:
Old Horrors rose, and leered at them, from out 
the tide of time,—
The peering peaks of War's old world, whose 
brows were stained with crime!
The conscious Silence was but dumb, a cursèd 
Plot to hide;
The darkness only a mask of Death, ready to 
slip aside.
Under the leafy palms they lay, and through 
their gay green crown
Our English saw no Storm roll up: no Fate 
swift-flaming down.

"At last it came.   The Rebel drum was heard 
at dead of night:
 They dashed in dust the only torch that showed 
the face of Right!
 Once more the Devil clutches at his lost throne 
of the earth,
 And sends a people, smit with plague of madness, 
howling forth.
 As in a Demon's dream they swarm from horrible 
 Red Murder stabs the air, and lights their way 
with maddening looks!
 Snuffing the smell of human blood, the cruel 
Moloch stands;
 Hearing the cry of 'Kill!  Kill!  Kill!' and claps 
his gory hands.
 At dead of night, while England slept, the fearful 
vision came,
 She looked, and with a dawn of hell the East 
was all aflame.

"Stern tidings flashed to Havelock, of legions in 
 'The Traitors turn upon us, and the eaters of our 
 Subtle as death, and false as hell, and cruel as the 
 Have sworn to rend us by the root; be quick, if ye 
would save;
 The wild beasts bloody and obscene, mad-drunk 
with gore and lust,
 Have wreaked a horrible vengeance on our England 
rolled in dust.'
 And such a withering wind doth blow, such 
fearful sounds it brings,
 The soul with shudders tries to shake off thoughts 
like creeping things.
 A vast invisible Terror twines its fingers in the 
 With one hand feeling for the throat; a hand 
that will not spare.

"They slew the grizzled Warrior, who to them 
had been so true;
 The ruddy stripling with frank eyes of bonny 
northern blue;
 They slew the Maiden as she slept; the Mother 
great with child;
 The Babe, that smiled up in their face, they 
stabbed it as it smiled!
 The piteous, pleading, hoary hair they draggled 
in red mire;
 And mocked the dying as they dashed out, 
frantic from the fire,
 To fall upon their Tulwars, hacked to Death; 
the bayonet
 Held up some child; the demons danced around 
it writhing yet:
 Warm flesh, that kindled so with life, was torn, 
and slowly hewn,
 To daintiest morsels for the feast where Death 
began too soon.

"Our English girls, whose sweet red blood went 
dancing on its way,
 A merry marriage-maker quick for its near 
 All life awaiting for the breath of Love's sweet 
south to blow,
 And budding bridal roses ripe with secret balms 
to flow,—
 They stripped them naked as they were born; 
naked along the street,
 In their own blood they made them dip their 
delicate white feet:
 With some last rag of shelter the poor helpless 
darling tries
 To hide her from the cruel hell of those devouring 
 Then, plucking at the skirts of Death, she prayerfully 
doth cling,
 To hide her from the eyes that still gloat round 
her in a ring.




"'Now, Soldiers of our England, let your love arise 
                in power;
 For never yet was greater need than in this awful 
 Together stand like old true hearts that never fear 
                nor flinch;
 With feet that have been shod for death, never to 
yield an inch.
 Our Empire is a Ship on fire, before a howling 
 With such a smoke of torment, as might make high 
heaven blind!
 Wild Ruin waves his flag of flame, and ye must 
spring on deck,
 And quench the fire in blood, and save our treasures 
from the wreck.'
 Many a time has England thought she sent her 
bravest forth;
 But never went more gallant men of more heroic 

"Hungry and lean, through rain and mire, our 
War-wolves ravening go
 On their long march, that shall not mete the red 
grave of the foe:
 Like winter trees stripped to their naked strength 
of heart and arm,
 That glory in their grimness as they tussle with 
the storm!
 Only a handful few and stern, and few and stern 
their words;
 Strange meaning in their eyes that meet and 
strike out sparks like swords!
 And there goes Havelock, leading the Forlorn 
Hope of our land:
 The quick heart spurring at their side; the 
banner of their band:
 Kindled, but calm, along their ranks his steady 
eye doth run,
 As Marksman seeks the death-line down the 
level of his gun.

"Beneath the whitening snows of age his spirit-
            ardours glow,
 As glow the fragrant fires of spring in flowers 
            beneath the snow.
 Look in his grave and martial face, with Love's 
            dear pity touched;
 A saviour soul doth sanctify the sword his hand 
            hath clutched;
 A little while his silent thoughts have gone 
            within to pray,
 And send a farewell of the heart to the dear 
            ones far away.
 He prays to God to light him through the perilous 
            darkness, when
 He grapples with the beasts of blood, and quells 
            them in their den.
 And now his look is lifted in the light of some 
            far goal;
 His lips the living trumpet of a gray-haired 
            Seer's soul.

"On th' house-tops of Allahabad black, scowling 
            brows were bent,
 In hate, and deep, still curses, on our heroes as 
            they went
 To fight their hundred-days-long fight; all true 
            as their good steel,
 The Highlanders of Havelock, the Fusileers of 
 A falling firmament of rain the heavens were 
            pouring down;
 They heeded not the drowning heavens, nor yet the 
            foeman's frown:
 Forward they strained with hearts afire, and gallantly
            they toiled
 Till darkness fell upon them: then the Moon 
            uprose and smiled.
 A little thing! and yet it seemed at such a time 
            to come
 Just like a proud and mournful smile from the 
            very heart of Home.

"That night they halted in a Snipe-swamp; hungry, 
            cold, and drenched;
 With hearts that kept the blitheness of brave 
            men that never blenched.
 Through flooding Nullah, slushy sand, onward 
            they strode again,
 Ere Dawn, a winèd glory, lit upon the burnished 
 And mists up-gathered sullenly along the rear 
            of flight,
 Slowly as beaten Belooches might lounge from 
            out the fight.
 Then heaven grew like inverted hell; a blazing 
            vault of fire!
 The Sun pursuing pitiless, to bring the brain-strokes 
 With sworded splendours fierce in front, and 
            darting down all day,
 Intently as the eyes of Death a-feeding on his prey.

"All the day long, and every day, with patience 
            conquering pain,
 Our good and gallant fellows with one purpose 
            forward strain;
 For there is that within each heart nothing but 
            death can stop;
 They hurry on, and hurry on, and hurry till 
            they drop;
 Trying to save the remnant; reach the leaguered 
            place in time
 To grasp, with red-wet slaughtering hands, the 
            workers of this crime.
 They think of all the dead that float adown the 
            Ganges' waters:
 Those noble Englishmen of ours; their gentle 
            wives and daughters!
 Of Fire and Madness broken loose, and doing 
            deeds most pitiful;
 And then of vengeance dealt out by the choked 
            and blackened city-full.

"They think of those poor things that climb each 
little eminence;
 As, from the deluge of the dark, when day is 
going hence,
 The sheep will huddle up the hill, and gather 
there forlorn;
 So gather they in this dread night, to wait the 
far-off morn.
 Or, crouching in the Jungle, they look up in 
Nature's face,
 To find she has no heart, for all her Reptilinear 
 Each leaf a sword, or prickly spear, or lifted 
jagged knife!
 No shields of shelter like our leaves; but threatening 
human life,
 With ominous hints of blood; and there the 
roots go writhing round,
 Like curses coiled upon the spring, that rest not 

"They find sure tokens all the day! and starting 
from their dream
 At night, they hear the Pariah dogs that howl 
by Ganges' stream,
 Knowing the waters bear their freight of corpses 
stiff and stark,
 Scenting the footfalls on the air, as Death glides 
down the dark;
 Only the Lotus with ripe lips, and arms caressing 
 The silence swarms with ghostly thoughts; each 
sound with ghastly things.
 There stands the plough i' the furrow; there the villagers 
have flown!
 There Fire ran dancing over roofs that underfoot 
went down!
 There Renaud hung his dangling dead, with but 
short time for shrift,
 He caught them on their way to hell, and gave 
them a last lift.

"They saw the first sight of their foe as the fourth 
dawn grew red;
 Twenty miles to breakfast marched; and had to 
fight instead.
 The morning smiled on arms up-piled, and weary 
wayworn men,
 But soon the Assembly sounded, and they sprang 
to arms again;
 The heaviest heart up-leaping light, as flames 
that tread on air.
 The Rebel line bore down as they had caught us 
 But Maude dashed forward with his Guns, across 
the sandy mire,
 And little did they relish our bright rain of rifle 
 Quickly the onward way was ploughed, with 
heaps on either hand;
 They broke the foe, then broke their fast, that 
dauntless little band.

"Again they felt our withering fire, by Pandoo 
Nuddee stream;
 Again they feared the crashing charge, and fled 
the vengeful gleam:
 Small loss was his in battle when the Conqueror 
looked round;
 But many fell from weariness, and died without 
a wound.
 Soft, whispering flowery secrets, came a low 
wind of the west
 That eve, like breath made balmy with the sweet 
love in the breast;
 Breathing its freshness through the groves of 
Mango and of Palm;
 But the sweetest thing that wind could bring 
was slumber's holy balm,
 To bless them for the morrow, and give strength 
for them to cope
 With those ten thousand men that stood betwixt 
them and their hope.

"It must have been a glorious sight to see them 
as they went,
 With veteran valour steady; sure of proud 
 When Havelock bade his line advance, the 
Highlanders swept on;
 Each one at heart a thousand; a thousand men 
as one;
 Linked in their beautiful proud line across the 
broken lands,
 Straight on! they never paused to lift the 
weapon in their hands;
 Silent, compact and resolute, charged as a 
 That burst, and wrapped the dead and living in 
one smoky shroud;
 One volley of Defiance! one wild cheer! and 
through the smoke
 They flashed! and all the battle into flying 
fragments broke.

"When night came down they lay there, gashed 
all over, side by side,
 The gray old warrior and the youth, his Mother's 
darling pride!
 Rolled with the rebel in the dust, and grim in 
bloody death;
 And over all the mist arose, dank as the graveyard's 
 But light of heart we took the hill, and very 
proud that night
 Was Havelock of his noble men, and Cawnpore 
was in sight.
 The men had neither food nor tent, but the red 
road was won:
 And very proud were they to hear their General's 
'Well done';
 Not knowing how their shout of triumph rang 
a fatal knell;
 Nor what that wretch had wrought who has no 
match this side of Hell.




"Cawnpore was ghastly silent, as into it they 
 There stood the blackened Ruin that the brave 
old Soldier kept!
 Where strained each ear for the English cheer, 
and stretched the wan wide eyes,
 Through all that awful night to see the signal-
rocket rise;
 No tramp, no cheer of Brothers near; no distant 
Cannon's boom;
 Nothing but death goes to and fro betwixt the 
glare and gloom.
 The living remnant try to hold their bit of bloodstained 
 Dark gaps continual in their midst; the dead 
all lying round;
 And saddest corpses still are those that die, and 
do not die:
 With just a little glimmering light of life to 
show them by.

"Each drop of water cost a wound to fetch it from 
the well;
 The father heard his crying child and went, but 
surely fell.
 They had drunk all their tears, and now dry 
agony drank their blood;
 The sand was killing in their souls; the wind a 
fiery flood;
 Oh, for one waft of heather-breath from off a 
Scottish wold!
 One shower that makes our English leaves smile 
greener for its gold!
 Then life drops inward from the eyes; turns 
upward with last prayer,
 To look for its deliverance; the only way lies 
 And then triumphant Treachery made leap each 
trusting heart,
 Like some poor Bird called from the nest, uppoising 
for the dart.

"'Come, let us pray,' their Chaplain said.   No 
other boon was craved:
 No pleading word for mercy sued; no face the 
white flag waved;
 But all grasped hands and prayed, till peace 
their souls serenely filled;
 Then like our noble Martyrs, there they stood 
up, and were killed.
 Only One saved!
                 He led our soldiers to the House of Blood;
 An eager, panting, cursing crew! but stricken 
dumb they stood
 In silence that was breathlessness of vengeance 
 A-many wept like women who were fiercest in 
the fight:
 There grew a look in human eyes as though a 
wild beast came
 Up in them at that scent of blood and glared 
devouring flame.

"All the Babes and Women butchered! all the 
dear ones dead;
 The story of their martyrdom in lines of awful 
 The blood-black floor, the clotted gore, fair 
tresses, deep sword-dints;
 Last message-scrawl upon the wall, and tiny 
 Gathered in one were all strange sights of horror 
and despair,
 That make the vision blood-shot, freeze the life, 
or lift the hair.
 Faces to faces flashed hell-fire!   Oh, but they 
felt 'twould take
 The very cup of God's own wrath, that gasping 
thirst to slake:
 For many a day 'Cawnpore' was hissed, and, at 
its word of guilt,
 The slaying sword went merciless, right ruddy 
to the hilt.

"There came a time we caught them, with a vast 
o'erwhelming wave,
 And of their grand Secunder Bagh we made a 
trophied grave.
 Once more the Highlanders pressed on with 
stern avenging tread,
 And Peel was there with his big guns, and 
Campbell at their head:
 A spring of daring madness! and they leapt 
upon their prey
 With hungry hearts on fury fed, for many and 
many a day.
 For hours and hours they slew, and slew, the 
devils in their den:
 'Ye wreaked your will on Women weak, now try 
it with strong men.'
 The blood that cried to heaven long in vapours 
from our slain,
 Fell hot and fast upon their heads in showers 
of ruddy rain.

"That day they saw their delicate white marbles 
glow and swim;
 There rose a cry like hell from out a slaughter 
great and grim:
 And as they clasped their hands and sued for 
mercy where they fell,
 One last sure thrust was given for that red and 
writhing Well.
 And there was joy in every heart, and light in 
every eye,
 To see the Traitor hordes that fled, make one last 
stand to die!
 While from the big wide wounds, like snakes, 
the runlets crawled along
 And stole away; the reptiles who had done the 
cruel wrong!
 A terrible reprisal for each precious drop they 
 Seventeen hundred cowardly killers there were 
bravely killed.




"England's unseen, dead Sorrow doth a visible 
Angel rise;
 The sword of Justice in her hand; Revenge looks 
through her eyes:
 Stern with the purpose in her soul right onward 
hastens she,
 Like one that bears the doom of worlds, with 
vengeful majesty;
 Sombre, superb, and terrible, before them still 
she goes!
 And though they lessen day by day, they deal 
such echoing blows,
 That still dilating with success, still grows that 
little band,
 Till in the place of hundreds, ten thousand seem 
to stand.
 With arms that weary not at work, they bear 
our victor flag,
 To plant it high on hills of dead, a torn and 
bloody rag.

"Proud Lucknow lies before them,—all its pageantry 
 Against the smiling sapphire gleam her tops of 
lighted gold.
 Each royal wall is fretted all with frostwork 
and with fire,
 A glory of colour jewel-rich, that makes a 
 As wave on wave the wonder breaks, the pointed 
flames burn higher,
 On dome of Mosque and Minaret, on pinnacle 
and spire;
 Fairy Creations, seen mid-air, that in their pleasaunce 
 Like wingèd creatures sitting just outside their 
 The City in its beauty lies, with flowers about 
her feet;
 Green fields, and goodly gardens, make so foul 
a thing seem sweet.

"The Bugle rings out for the march, and, with 
its fiercest thrill,
 Goes to the heart of Havelock's men, and works 
its lordly will,
 Making their spirits thrill as leaves are thrilled 
in some wild wind;
 Hunger and heartache, weariness and wounds, 
all left behind.
 Their sufferings all forgotten now, as in the 
ranks they form;
 And every soul in stature rose to wrestle with 
the storm.
 All silent! what was hid at heart could not be 
said in words:
 With faces set for Lucknow, ground to sharpness, 
keen as swords.
 A tightening twitch all over! a grim glistening 
in the eye,
 'Forward!' and on their way they strode to 
dare, and do, and die.

"Hope whispers at the ear of some, that they 
shall meet again,
 And clasp their long-lost darlings, after all the 
toil and pain;
 A-many know that they will sleep to-night 
among the slain;
 And many a cheek will bloom no more for all the 
tearful rain:
 And some have only vengeance; but to-day 'tis 
bitter sweet;
 And there goes Havelock! his the aim too lofty 
for defeat;
 With steady tramp the column treads, true as 
the firm heart's-bea:
 Strung for its headlong murderous march through 
that long fatal street.
 All ready to win a soldier's grave, or do the 
daring deed!
 But not a man that fears to die for England in 
her need.

"The masked artillery raked the road, and 
ploughed them front and flank;
 Some gallant fellow every step was stricken 
from the rank;
 But, as he staggered, in his place another sternly 
 And, firing fast as they could load, their onward 
way they kept.
 Now, give them the good bayonet! with England's 
sternest foes,
 Strong arm, cold steel has done it, in the wildest, 
bloodiest close:
 And now their Bayonets flash in forks of 
Lightning up the ridge,
 And with a cheer they take the guns, another, 
clear the bridge.
 One good home-thrust! and surely, as the dead 
in doom are sure,
 They send them where that British cheer can 
trouble them no more.

"The fire is biting bitterly; onward the battle 
 Grim Death is glaring at them, from ten thousand 
 Death stretches up from earth to heaven, spreading 
his darkness round;
 Death piles the heaps of helplessness face downward 
to the ground;
 Death flames from sudden Ambuscades, where 
all was still and dark;
 Death swiftly speeds on whizzing wings the 
bullets to their mark;
 Death from the doors and windows, all around 
and overhead,
 Darts, with his cloven fiery tongues, incessant, 
quick, and red:
 Death everywhere, Death in all sounds, and, 
through its smoke of breath,
 Victory beckons at the end of long dark lanes 
of death.

"Another charge, another cheer, another Battery 
 And in a whirlwind of fierce fire the fight went 
roaring on
 Into the very heart of hell: with Comrades falling 
 Through all that tempest terrible, the glorious 
remnant passed.
 No time to help a dear old friend: but where 
the wounded fell,
 They knew it was all over, and they looked a last 
 And dying eyes, slow-setting in a cold and stony 
 Turned upward, saw a map of murder scribbled 
on the air
 With crossing flames; and others read their 
fiery fearful fate,
 In dark, swart faces waiting for them, whitening 
with their hate.

"But, proudly men will march to death, when 
Havelock leads them on:
 Through all the storm he sat his horse as he 
were cut in stone!
 But now his look grows dark; his eye gleams 
with uneasy flash:
 'On, for the Residency, we must make a last brave 
 And on dashed Highlander and Sikh through a 
sea of fire and steel,
 On, with the lion of their strength, our first in 
glory, Niel!
 It seemed the face of heaven grew black, so 
close it held its breath,
 Through all the glorious agony of that long 
march of death.
 The round shot tears, the bullets rain; dear 
God, outspread Thy shield!
 Put forth Thy red right arm, for them, Thy 
sword of sharpness wield!

"One wave breaks forward on the shore, and one 
falls helpless back:
 Again they club their wasted strength, and fight 
like 'Hell-fire Jack.'1
 And ever as fainter grows the fire of that 
intrepid band,
 Again they grasp the bayonet as 'twere Salvation's 
 They leap the broad, deep trenches, rush through 
archways streaming fire;
 Every step some brave heart bursts, heaving 
deliverance nigher:
 'I'm hit,' cries one, 'you'll take me on your back, 
old Comrade, I
 Should like to see their dear white faces once before 
I die;
 My body may save you from the shot.'
                                         His Comrade bore him on:
 But, ere they reached the Bailie Guard, the 
hurrying soul was gone.

1 Sobriquet of Captain Olpherts

"And now the Gateway arched in sight; the last 
grim tussle came.
 One moment makes immortal! dead or living, 
endless fame!
 They heard the voice of fiery Niel, that for the 
last time thrilled;
 'Push on, my men, 'tis getting dark': he sat 
where he was killed.
 Another frantic surge of life, and plunging o'er 
the bar,
 Right into harbour hurling goes their whirling 
wave of war,
 And breaks in mighty thunders of reverberating 
 Then dances on in frolic foam of kisses, blessings, 
 Stabbed by mistake, one native cries with the 
last breath he draws,
 'Welcome, My Friends, never you mind, it's all for 
the good cause.'

"How they had leaned and listened, as the battle 
sounded nigher;
 How they had strained their eyes to see them 
coming crowned with fire!
 Till in the flashing street below they heard them 
pant for breath,
 And then the friendly faces smiled clear from 
the cloud of death;
 And iron grasp met tender clasp; wan weeping 
women fold
 Their dear Deliverers, down whose long brown 
beards the big tears rolled.
 Another such a meeting will not be on this side 
 The little wine they have hoarded, to the last 
drop shall be given
 To those who, in their mortal need, fought on 
through fearful odds,
 Bled for them, reached them, saved them, less 
like men than glorious gods.





"The Warrior may be ripe for rest, and laurelled 
with great deeds,
 But till their work be done, no rest for those 
whom God yet needs:
 Whether in rivers of ruin their onward way 
they tear,
 Or healing waters trembling with the beauty 
that they bear;
 Blasting or blessing they must on: on, on, for 
ever on!
 Divine unrest is in their breast, until their work 
is done.
 Nor is it all a pleasant path the sacred band 
must tread,
 With life a summer holiday, and death a downy 
 They wear away with noble use, they drink the 
tearful cup;
 And they must bear the Cross who are bidden 
with the Christ to sup.

"Each day his face grew thinner, and sweeter, 
            saintlier grew
 The smiling soul that every day was burning 
            keenlier through.
 And higher, each day higher, did the life-flame 
            heavenward climb,
 Like sad sweet sunshine up the wall, that for 
            the sunset time
 Seems watching till the signal that shall call it 
            hence is given;
 Even so his spirit kept the watch, till beckoned 
            home to heaven.
 His work was done, his eyes with peace were 
            soft and satisfied;
 War-worn and wasted, in the arms of Victory 
            he died.
 'Havelock's dead,' and darkness fell on every upturned 
 The shadow of an Angel passing from its earthly 

"In the red pass of peril, with a fame shall never 
 Died Havelock, the Good Soldier: who would 
            not die like him?
 In grandest strength he fell, full-length; and 
            now our hero climbs
 To those who stood up in their day and spoke 
            with after times:
 There on the battlements of Heaven, they watch 
            us, looking back
 To see the blessing flow for those who follow in 
            their track.
 He smileth from his heaven now; the Martyr 
            with his palm;
 The weary warrior's tired life is crowned with 
            starry calm.
 On many sailing through the storm another star 
            shall shine,
 And they shall look up through the night and 
            conquer at the sign.

"They laid it low, the old gray head, not only 
gray with years;
 It had been bowed in Sorrow's lap and silvered 
with her tears;
 Our England may not crown it, with her heart 
too full for speech;
 The hand that draws into the dark, hath borne 
it beyond reach.
 The eyes of far-away heaven-blue, with such 
keen lustre lit,
 As they could pierce the dark of death, and, 
star-like, fathom it,
 They may not swim with sweetness as the happy 
Children run
 To welcome home the Reaper, when the weary 
day is done!
 How would the tremulous radiance round the 
old man's mouth have smiled;
 Our good gray-headed hero, with the heart of a 
little child.

"Honour to Henry Havelock! though not of 
kingly blood,
 He wore the double royalty of being great and 
 He rose and reached the topmost height; our 
Hero lowly born:
 So from the lowly grass hath grown the proud 
embattled Corn!
 He rose up in our cruel need, and towering on 
he trod;
 Baring his brow to battle bold, as humbly to his 
 He did his work, nor thought of nations ringing 
with his name,
 He walked with God, and talked with God, nor 
cared if following Fame
 Should find him toiling in the field, or sleeping 
 Nor did he mind what resting-place, with heaven 
embracing round.

"When swarming hell had broken bounds, he 
showed us how to stand
 With rootage like the Palm amidst the maddest 
whirl of sand;
 Undaunted while the swarthy storm around him 
swirled and swirled,
 A winding-sheet of all white life! a wild Sahara 
 The drowning waves closed over him, lost to all 
human view,
 And, like an arrow straight from God, he cleft 
their Twelve Hosts through.
 No swerving as he walked along the rearing 
 He made a way for Victory, his body was her 
 Grand in the mouths of men his fame along the 
Centuries runs;
 Women shall read of his great deed and bear 
heroic sons.

"He leant a trusting hand on heaven, a gentle 
heart on home;
 In secret he grew ready, ere the Judgment hour 
was come.
 War blew away the ashes gray, and kindled at 
the core
 Live sparkles of the Ironside fire that glowed on 
Marston Moor.
 Some Angel-Mute had led him blindfold through 
his thorny ways,
 Till, on a sudden, lo, he stood, full in the glory's 
 Aloud, for all the world to hear, God called His 
servant's name,
 And led him forth, where all might see, upon 
the heights of fame.
 His arch of life, suspended as it sprang, in heaven 
 Our bow of promise o'er the storm, seen through 
rejoicing tears.

"Joy to old England! she has stuff for storm-sail 
and for stay,
 While she can breed such heroes, in her quiet, 
homely way:
 Such martial souls that go with grim, war-figured 
brows pulled down,
 As men that are resolved to bear Death's heavy, 
iron crown.
 So long as she has sons like these, no foe shall 
make her bow,
 While Ocean washes her white feet; Heaven 
kisses her fair brow.
 If India's fate had rested on each single saviour 
 They would have kept their grasp of it till we 
regained the whole.
 The Lightnings of that bursting Cloud, which 
were to blast our might,
 But served to show its majesty clear in the 
sterner light.

"Our England towers up beautiful with her dilating 
 To greater stature in the strife, and glory in the 
 Her wrath's great wine-press trodden on so 
many vintage fields,
 With crush and strain, and press of pain, a 
ripened spirit yields,
 To warm us in our winter, when the times are 
coward and cold,
 And work divinely in young veins: wake boyhood 
in the old.
 Behold her flame from field to field on Victory's 
chariot wheels,
 Till to its den, bleeding to death, Rebellion backwards 
 Her Martyrs are avenged! ye may search that 
Indian land,
 And scarcely find a single soul of all the traitor 

"We've many a nameless Hero lying in his unknown 
 Their life's gold fragment glinting but a sunfleck 
on the wave.
 But rest, you unknown, noble dead! our Living 
are one hand
 Of England's power; but, with her Dead she 
grasps into the land.
 The flower of our Race shall make that Indian 
desert bud,
 Its shifting sands drench firm, and fertilize with 
English blood.
 In many a country they sleep crowned, our conquering, 
faithful Dead:
 They pave our path where shines her sun of 
empire overhead;
 They circle in a glorious ring, with which the 
world is wed,
 And where their blood has turned to bloom, our 
England's Rose is red.

"Your brother Willie, Boy, was one of Havelock's 
little band;
 My Son! my beautiful brave Son, lies in that 
Indian Land.
 They buried him by the wayside where he bowed 
him down to die,
 While Homeward in its Eastern pomp the 
Triumph passed him by.
 And even yet mine eyes are wet, but 'tis with 
that proud tear
 A lofty feeling in its front doth like a jewel 
 I see him! on his forehead shines the conqueror's 
radiant crest,
 And God's own Cross of Victory is on his martial 
 I should have liked to have felt him near, when 
these old eyes grow dim,
 But gave him to our England in her greater 
need of him."


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