Page:A treasury of war poetry, British and American poems of the world war, 1914-1919.djvu/43

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ENGLAND



THE VIGIL

ENGLAND! where the sacred flame
 Burns before the inmost shrine,
Where the lips that love thy name
 Consecrate their hopes and thine,
Where the banners of thy dead
Weave their shadows overhead,
Watch beside thine arms to-night,
Pray that God defend the Right.


Think that when to-morrow comes
 War shall claim command of all,
Thou must hear the roll of drums,
 Thou must hear the trumpet's call.
Now, before they silence ruth,
Commune with the voice of truth;
England! on thy knees to-night
Pray that God defend the Right.


Single-hearted, unafraid,
 Hither all thy heroes came,
On this altar's steps were laid
 Gordon's life and Outram's fame.
England! if thy will be yet
By their great example set,
Here beside thine arms to-night
Pray that God defend the Right.


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