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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

The Queen's Men

"Gloriana"--Rewards and Fairies

    Valour and Innocence       
    Have latterly gone hence
    To certain death by certain shame attended.
    Envy--ah! even to tears! --
    The fortune of their years
    Which, though so few, yet so divinely ended.
   
    Scarce had they lifted up
    Life's full and fiery cup,
    Than they had set it down untouched before them.
    Before their day arose
    They beckoned it to close--
    Close in confusion and destruction o'er them.

    They did not stay to ask
    What prize should crown their task--
    Well  sure  that  prize  was  such  as  no  man strives  for;
    But passed into eclipse,
    Her kiss upon their lips--
    Even Belphoebe's, whom they gave their lives for!

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