Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1216. At Gibraltar
 
By George Edward Woodberry
 
 
I

ENGLAND, I stand on thy imperial ground,
Not all a stranger; as thy bugles blow,
I feel within my blood old battles flow,—
The blood whose ancient founts in thee are found.
Still surging dark against the Christian bound        5
Wide Islam presses; well its peoples know
Thy heights that watch them wandering below;
I think how Lucknow heard their gathering sound.
I turn, and meet the cruel, turbaned face.
England, ’t is sweet to be so much thy son!        10
I feel the conqueror in my blood and race;
Last night Trafalgar awed me, and to-day
Gibraltar wakened; hark, thy evening gun
Startles the desert over Africa!
 
II

Thou art the rock of empire, set mid-seas
        15
Between the East and West, that God has built;
Advance thy Roman borders where thou wilt,
While run thy armies true with his decrees;
Law, justice, liberty,—great gifts are these:
Watch that they spread where English blood is spilt,        20
Lest, mixed and sullied with his country’s guilt,
The soldier’s life-stream flow, and Heaven displease!
Two swords there are: one naked, apt to smite,
Thy blade of war; and, battle-storied, one
Rejoices in the sheath, and hides from light.        25
American I am; would wars were done!
Now westward, look, my country bids good-night,—
Peace to the world from ports without a gun!
 

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