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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

At Gibraltar

By George Edward Woodberry (1855–1930)

[From The North Shore Watch, and Other Poems. 1890.]

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 in thee are found.

Still surging dark against the Christian bound

Wide 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, ’tis sweet to be so much thy son!

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!

Thou art the rock of empire, set mid-seas

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,

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.

American I am; would wars were done!

Now westward, look, my country bids good-night,—

Peace to the world from ports without a gun!