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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

Recessional

(A Victorian Ode)
God of our fathers, known of old --
  Lord of our far-flung battle line --
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
  Dominion over palm and pine --
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget -- lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies --
  The Captains and the Kings depart --
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
  An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget -- lest we forget!

Far-called our navies melt away --
  On dune and headland sinks the fire --
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
  Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget -- lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
  Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe --
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
  Or lesser breeds without the Law --
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget -- lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
  In reeking tube and iron shard --
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
  And guarding calls not Thee to guard.
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!
                              Amen.

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