Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
June 22
Recessional
By Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936)
 
          On June 22, 1897, Queen Victoria celebrated the 60th anniversary of her accession.

GOD of our Fathers, known of old—
Lord of our far flung battle line—
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,        5
Lest we forget—Lest we forget.
 
The tumult and the shouting dies,
The Captains and the Kings depart,
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.        10
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget! Lest we forget!
 
Far called our navies melt away—
On dune and headland sinks the fire—
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday        15
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—Lest we forget!
 
If drunk with sight of power we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,        20
Such boasting as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the law,
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget! Lest we forget!
 
For heathen heart that puts her trust        25
In reeking tube and iron shard—
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy mercy on Thy people, Lord!        30
 
 
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