Oh hear! Oh hear! Across the sullen tide, Across the echoing dome horizon-wide What pulse of fear Beats with tremendous boom? What call of instant doom, With thunderstroke of terror and of pride, With urgency that may not be denied, Reverberates upon the heart's own drum -- Come! . . . Come! . . . for thou must come! Come forth, O Soul! This is thy day of power. This is the day and this the glorious hour That was the goal Of thy self-conquering strife. The love of child and wife, The fields of Earth and the wide ways of Thought -- Did not thy purpose count them all as nought That in this moment thou thyself mayst give And in thy country's life for ever live? Therefore rejoice That in thy passionate prime Youth's nobler hope disdained the spoils of Time And thine own choice Fore-earned for thee this day. Rejoice! rejoice to obey In the great hour of life that men call Death The beat that bids thee draw heroic breath, Deep-throbbing till thy mortal heart be dumb -- Come! . . . Come! . . . the time is come!
- by Henry Newbolt, Sir (1862 - 1938), "The song of the guns at sea", appears in Poems: New and Old, in Songs of the Fleet, no. 5, first published 1912 [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2008-12-06
Line count: 30
Word count: 191