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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

A British-Roman Song

(A. D. 406)

"A Centurion of the Thirtieth" -- Puck of Pook's Hill
My father's father saw it not,
  And I, belike, shall never come 
To look on that so-holy spot --
              That very Rome --

Crowned by all Time, all Art, all Might,
  The equal work of Gods and Man,
City beneath whose oldest height --
               The Race began!

 Soon to send forth again a brood,
   Unshakable, we pray, that clings
 To Rome's thrice-hammered hardihood --
              In arduous things.

 Strong heart with triple armour bound,
   Beat strongly, for thy life-blood runs,
 Age after Age, the Empire round --
              In us thy Sons

 Who, distant from the Seven Hills,
      Loving and serving much, require
 Thee -- thee to guard 'gainst home-born ills
             The  Imperial Fire!

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