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April On Waggon Hill

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



Lad, and can you rest now,
There beneath your hill!
Your hands are on your breast now,
But is your heart so still?
'Twas the right death to die, lad,
A gift without regret,
But unless truth's a lie, lad,
You dream of Devon yet.

Ay, ay, the year's awaking,
The fire's among the ling,
The beechen hedge is breaking,
The curlew's on the wing;
Primroses are out, lad,
On the high banks of Lee,
And the sun stirs the trout, lad;
From Brendon to the sea.

I know what's in your heart, lad,---
The mare he used to hunt---
And her blue market-cart, lad,
With posies tied in front---
We miss them from the moor road,
They're getting old to roam,
The road they're on's a sure road
And nearer, lad, to home.

Your name, the name they cherish?
'Twill fade, lad, 'tis true:
But stone and all may perish
With little loss to you.
While fame's fame you're Devon, lad,
The Glory of the West;
Till the roll's called in heaven, lad,
You may well take your rest.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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…

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