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Emory Women Writers Resource Project Collections:
Emory Women Writers Resource Project

Lest We Forget: A War Anthology, an electronic edition

by H.B. Elliot, ed. [Elliot, H. B.]

date: 1915
source publisher: Jarrold & Sons
collections: World War I, Early 20th Century Literature

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| | 97

ABI, VIATOR---.

IF thou hast seen the standard dim
Droop in its mesh of dust and grime
Above the carven hands of him
Who bore it in some ancient time;
If thou hast seen the silent sword
Rust redly in its tattered sheath,
Hast caught the echo of the word
That flung an English glove at death,
And yet thy pulses march unstirred,
And still thy breath comes calm and slow,
Pass on--no Englishman art thou!

If thou canst hear and see to-day
The distant clamour and the fume
Of crimson fate, and yet canst say
"The gain is mine, be theirs the doom."
If thou thy unthrilled hands canst fold,
If thou canst check thy seaward tread,
Canst shun the dust and guard the gold,
Thou hast no kinship with thy dead;
Ah! if thy craven heart is cold,
Pause not the perilous page to scan--
Pass on--thou art no Englishman!

| | 98

But if the distant unison
Of swooping sword and flying dart,
Of straining sail and muttering gun,
Touches thy spirit and thy heart;
If England's day and England's call
Find thee a son of England, then
Thou canst not falter--thou, nor all
Her noble heritage of men;
Pass on--she stands, although we fall,
Pass on unshaken though stars shake
Thyself canst tell what road to take!

British Review.