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The School At War

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

All night before the brink of death
In fitful sleep the army lay,
For through the dream that stilled their breath
Too gauntly glared the coming day.

But we, within whose blood there leaps
The fulness of a life as wide
As Avon's water where he sweeps
Seaward at last with Severn's tide,

We heard beyond the desert night
The murmur of the fields we knew,
And our swift souls with one delight
Like homing swallows Northward flew.

We played again the immortal games,
And grappled with the fierce old friends,
And cheered the dead undying names,
And sang the song that never ends;

Till, when the hard, familiar bell
Told that the summer night was late,
Where long ago we said farewell
We said farewell by the old gate.

'O Captains unforgot,' they cried,
'Come you again or come no more,
Across the world you keep the pride,
Across the world we mark the score.'

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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…

All Sir Henry Newbolt poems | Sir Henry Newbolt Books

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