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Admiral Death

Sir Henry Newbolt 1862 (Bilston, Staffordshire) – 1938 (Kensington, London)

Boys, are ye calling a toast to-night?
(Hear what the sea-wind saith)
Fill for a bumper strong and bright,
And here's to Admiral Death!
He's sailed in a hundred builds o' boat,
He's fought in a thousand kinds o' coat,
He's the senior flag of all that float,
And his name's Admiral Death!

Which of you looks for a service free?
(Hear what the sea-wind saith)
The rules o' the service are but three
When ye sail with Admiral Death.
Steady your hand in time o' squalls,
Stand to the last by him that falls,
And answer clear to the voice that calls,
'Ay, Ay! Admiral Death!'

How will ye know him among the rest?
(Hear what the sea-wind saith)
By the glint o' the stars that cover his breast
Ye may find Admiral Death.
By the forehead grim with an ancient scar,
By the voice that rolls like thunder far,
By the tenderest eyes of all that are,
Ye may know Admiral Death.

Where are the lads that sailed before?
(Hear what the sea-wind saith)
Their bones are white by many a shore,
They sleep with Admiral Death.
Oh! but they loved him, young and old,
For he left the laggard, and took the bold,
And the fight was fought, and the story's told,
And they sleep with Admiral Death.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:08 min read
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Sir Henry Newbolt

Sir Henry John Newbolt, CH was an English poet, novelist and historian. He also had a very powerful role as a government adviser, particularly on Irish issues and with regard to the study of English in England. He is perhaps best remembered for his poems "Vitaï Lampada" and "Drake's Drum". more…

All Sir Henry Newbolt poems | Sir Henry Newbolt Books

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    "Admiral Death" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 28 Feb. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/35112/admiral-death>.

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