New Poems

by Charles G.D. Roberts


 

TO SHAKESPEARE, IN 1916


 

WITH what white wrath must turn thy bones,
    What stern amazement flame thy dust,
To feel so near this England’s heart
    The outrage of the assassin’s thrust!

How must thou burn to have endured

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    The acclaim of these whose fame unclean
Reeks from the "Lusitania’s" slain,
    Stinks from the orgies of Malines!

But surely, too, thou art consoled
    (Who knew’st thy stalwart breed so well)

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To see us rise from sloth, and go,
    Plain and unbragging, through this hell.

And surely, too, thou art assured.
    Hark how that grim and gathering beat
Draws upwards from the ends of earth,—

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    The tramp, tramp, of thy kinsmen’s feet.