Verse > Anthologies > George Herbert Clarke, ed. > A Treasury of War Poetry
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George Herbert Clarke, ed. (1873–1953).  A Treasury of War Poetry.  1917.
 
89. A Petition
 
By Robert Ernest Vernède
 
 
ALL that a man might ask thou hast given me, England,
  Birthright and happy childhood’s long heart’s-ease,
And love whose range is deep beyond all sounding
  And wider than all seas:
A heart to front the world and find God in it,        5
  Eyes blind enow but not too blind to see
The lovely things behind the dross and darkness,
  And lovelier things to be;
And friends whose loyalty time nor death shall weaken
  And quenchless hope and laughter’s golden store—        10
All that a man might ask thou hast given me, England,
  Yet grant thou one thing more:
That now when envious foes would spoil thy splendour,
  Unversed in arms, a dreamer such as I,
May in thy ranks be deemed not all unworthy,        15
  England, for thee to die.
 

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