…from the quills of the dead white poets
Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)
“A Centurion of the Thirtieth” — Puck of Pook’s Hill
My father’s father saw it not,
And I, belike, shall never come
To look on that so-holy spot –
That very Rome –
Crowned by all Time, all Art, all Might,
The equal work of Gods and Man,
City beneath whose oldest height –
The Race began!
Soon to send forth again a brood,
Unshakable, we pray, that clings
To Rome’s thrice-hammered hardihood –
In arduous things.
Strong heart with triple armour bound,
Beat strongly, for thy life-blood runs,
Age after Age, the Empire round –
In us thy Sons
Who, distant from the Seven Hills,
Loving and serving much, require
Thee — thee to guard ‘gainst home-born ills
The Imperial Fire!