A Hymn of Empire and Other Poems

by Frederick George Scott


 

A HYMN OF EMPIRE


 

LORD, by whose might the Heavens stand,
    The Source from whom they came,
Who holdest nations in Thy hand,
    And call’st the stars by name,
Thine ageless forces do not cease
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    To mould us as of yore—
The chiselling of the arts of peace,
    The anvil-strokes of war.

Then bind our realms in brotherhood,
    Firm laws and equal rights,

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Let each uphold the Empire’s good
    In freedom that unites;
And make that speech whose thunder roll
    Down the broad stream of time,
The harbinger from pole to pole
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    Of love and peace sublime.

Lord, turn the hearts of cowards who prate,
    Afraid to dare or spend,
The doctrine of a narrower State
    More easy to defend;

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Not this the watchword of our sires
    Who breathed with ocean’s breath,
Not this our spirit’s ancient fires
    Which nought could quench but death.

Strong are we? Make us stronger yet;

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    Great? Make us greater far.
Our feet antarctic oceans fret,
    Our crown the polar star;
Round Earth’s wild coasts our batteries speak,
    Our highway is the main,
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We stand as guardian of the weak,
    We burst the oppressor’s chain.

Great God, uphold us in our task,
    Keep pure and clean our rule,
Silence the honeyed words which mask

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    The wisdom of the fool.
The pillars of the world are Thine;
    Pour down Thy bounteous grace,
And make illustrious and divine
    The scepter of our race.
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