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War-ships In Port Post by :magdelen Category :Poems Author :W. M. Mackeracher Date :November 2011 Read :1664

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War-ships In Port

The tread of armèd mariners is in our streets to-day,
An Empire's pulse is beating in the march of this array.
From western woods, and Celtic hills, and homely Saxon shires,
They sailed beneath the "meteor flag," the emblem of our sires;
And for the glory that has been, the pride that yet may be,
We hail them in the sacred names of home and liberty,
And know that not on sea or land more dauntless hearts there are
Than the hearts of these bold seamen from the English men-of-war.

Trafalgar's fame-crowned hero stands, encarved in storied stone,
And from his place of honor looks in silence and alone:
But no, to-day his spirit lives, and walks the crowded way;
For us Drake, Hawkins, Frobisher and Howard live to-day;
For us from many a page of eld, 'mid war and tempest blast,
A thousand thousand valiant forms come trooping from the past,
And say, "Forget not us to-day, we have a part with these,
The 'sea-dogs' of old England, the 'Mistress of the Seas.'"

No, no, ye gruff old heroes, ye can never be forgot;
The memory of your prowess will outlive the storm, the shot
Destruction pours impartially on common and sublime,
And scorn the volleying years that mount the battery of time;
For far above this tide of war your worth is written clear
On fame's bright rock of adamant, imperishable here;
Your names may be recorded not, your graves be 'neath the keel,
But many a million English hearts some love for you shall feel.

Five grim old ocean-buffeters, stern ploughshares of the deep,
Have come to visit us of those whose duty 'tis to keep,
With the old lion's courage and the young eagle's ken,
Their sleepless watch upon the sea that skirts this world of men:
And if again in stately pride their lordly forms they bear
Upon the ample bosom of our noble stream, whene'er
From massive prow impregnable their peaceful anchor falls,
We'll hail old England's hearts of steel who man her iron walls.

(The end)
W. M. MacKeracher's poem: War-Ships In Port

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