by Alfred Austin
When for one brief dark hour Rome's virile sway
Felt the sharp shock of Cannae's adverse day,
Forum, and field, and Senate-House were rent
With cries of nor misgiving nor lament,
Only of men contending now who should
Purchase the spot on which the Victor stood.
Legion on legion sprang up from the ground,
Gleamed through the land, and over ocean wound,
Till Scipio's eagles swarmed on Afric's shore,
And Carthage perished, to insult no more.
Not less resolved than Rome, now England stands
Facing foul fortune with unfaltering hands.
Throughout her Realms is neither fear nor feud,
But, calm in strength and steeled in fortitude,
She fills the gaps of death with eager life,
That will nor lag nor haggle in the strife,
Till, having backward rolled the lawless tide
Of crafty treason, tyranny, and pride,
Her Sword hath brought, inflexible as Fate,
Charter of Freedom to a fettered State.
Last updated January 14, 2019