The Roman's force in war and warlike arts,
The Grecian's genius and heroic parts,
The Egyptian's learned skill, the Persian's power,
The Macedonian's fire, the Frank's brief hour-
All these are themes that in the historic page
Shall live transcendent to the latest age.
But even now a story forms, whose pride
Above these other themes shall one day ride;
Repressed each fault that in the warring jars,
His rage forgotten, and his wanton wars.
The Briton's fame in after years shall light
A glory 'mid these beams more fair, more bright.
Not how he led his legions far and wide,
Subduing nations to his vaulting pride;
Not how he made of war a game, or framed
Huge, lifeless piles, unstoried as unnamed;
Not these the deeds his sounding name shall spread:
Far nobler works the Islander has sped.
How conquering ocean and subduing space.
The earth he traversed with a steady pace;
How unallured by love of golden ores.
He pitched his peaceful camp on doubtful shores;
How by no dangers checked or turned aside.
He pierced the forest, climbed the mountain side;
How leading commerce in the wake of toil.
He built up cities and subdued the soil;
While all the chaster arts successive came,
To gild and beautify the mighty frame;
How carrying out the great behest he ran
From pole to pole, the harbinger of man.
Such deeds relating—shall the historian say,
'Twas thus the Briton held his glorious way"