To The Memory Of Field-Marshall Earl Roberts
He died, as soldiers die, amid the strife,
by Sir Owen Seaman
Mindful of England in his latest prayer;
God, of His love, would have so fair a life
Crowned with a death as fair.
He might not lead the battle as of old,
But, as of old, among his own he went,
Breathing a faith that never once grew cold,
A courage still unspent.
So was his end; and, in that hour, across
The face of War a wind of silence blew,
And bitterest foes paid tribute to the loss
Of a great heart and true.
But we who loved him, what have we to lay
For sign of worship on his warrior-bier?
What homage, could his lips but speak to-day,
Would he have held most dear?
Not grief, as for a life untimely reft;
Not vain regret for counsel given in vain;
Not pride of that high record he has left,
Peerless and pure of stain;
But service of our lives to keep her free,
The land he served; a pledge above his grave
To give her even such a gift as he,
The soul of loyalty, gave.
That oath we plight, as now the trumpets swell
His requiem, and the men-at-arms stand mute,
And through the mist the guns he loved so well
Thunder a last salute!