Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
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William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
 
In Memoriam of October 25, 1854
By John Reade (1837–1919)
 
(Written on the occasion of the Balaclava Festival)

OH! say not that the chivalry
  That our brave fathers led
To noble deeds of bravery,
  In us their sons is dead!
For the same blood that leaped of yore        5
  Upon the battle-plains
Of Crécy and of Agincourt,
  Still leaps within our veins.
 
The times are changed; the arts of peace
  Are cherished more than then,        10
But, until wars for ever cease,
  Our country shall have men
To draw the sword for country’s good,
  To battle for the right,
To shed their heart’s best drop of blood        15
  In many a hard-fought fight.
 
All honour to the good and brave
  Who fought in days of old,
And shame upon the sordid knave
  Whose heart ’s so dull and cold        20
As not to feel an honest glow
  Of patriotic pride,
When he is told that long ago
  Such heroes lived and died.
 
Then let us to their memory give        25
  A grateful, manly thought,
And, if we prize them, let us live
  As nobly as they fought;
Each life is but a battle-field,
  The Wrong against the Right.        30
Then think, when Right to Wrong would yield,
  Of Balaclava’s fight.
 
 
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