In Memoriam C. G. Gordon

A poem by Mary Hannay Foott

Devotion! When thy name is named,
What matchless visions rise!
The Hebrew, leaving Pharoah’s house,
To Israel’s rescue flies;
The Moabitess, gleans, content,
Beneath the burning skies.

The flower of Christendom is given
To gain the Holy Grave;
O’er Acre and o’er Askelon
The blessed banners wave;
By Edward’s bed I see thee kneel,
O Queen beloved and brave!

Who art thou, girl, in warrior garb,
St. Catherine’s sword in hand?
’Tis La Pucelle, and France is free;
O shame that thou must stand
Bound, helpless, at the cruel stake,
To wait the headman’s brand!

And now upon the wild North Sea
From Lindisfarne’s bleak shore,
To save the lives of shipwrecked men
A maiden plies the oar;
Seamen and landsmen honour thee,
Grace Darling, evermore!

And swifter, closer, as I muse,
The splendid spectres loom;
And stately stands among them one
To glory passed from gloom,
But late, by waters of the Nile,
In walls of lost Khartoum!

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