Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
 
IV. Peace
At Gibraltar
George Edward Woodberry (1855–1930)
 
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 are in thee found
Still surging dark against the Christian bound        5
  While 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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