Songs of the Fleet - The Song of the Guns at Sea

A poem by Henry Newbolt

Oh hear! Oh hear!
Across the sullen tide
Across the echoing dome horizon-wide
What pulse of fear
Beats with tremendous boom!
What call of instant doom,
With thunderstroke of terror and of pride,
With urgency that may not be denied,
Reverberates upon the heart's own drum
Come! . . . Come! . . . for thou must come!

Come forth, O Soul!
This is thy day of power.
This is the day and this the glorious hour
That was the goal
Of thy self-conquering strife.
The love of child and wife,
The fields of Earth and the wide ways of Thought--
Did not thy purpose count them all as nought
That in this moment thou thyself mayst give
And in thy country's life for ever live?

Therefore rejoice
That in thy passionate prime
Youth's nobler hope disdained the spoils of Time
And thine own choice
Fore-earned for thee this day.
Rejoice! rejoice to obey
In the great hour of life that men call Death
The beat that bids thee draw heroic breath,
Deep-throbbing till thy mortal heart be dumb
Come! . . . Come! . . . the time is come!

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