Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TIGER, by EDWIN ARNOLD



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THE TIGER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Beneath odessa's foreland
Last Line: Shall bring him better rest.
Subject(s): Odessa, Ukraine; Russia; Soviet Union; Russians


BENEATH Odessa's foreland,
Washed by the Russian wave,
Shattered and black an English ship
Rots in her sandy grave.
The sea-shell elogs her cannon,
The sea-worm eats her oak,
And the sea-weeds dank cling to the plank
Whence English thunders spoke.

Behind Odessa's foreland,
Under the Russian sky,
That noble vessel's noble chief
In bloody grave doth lie.
Not bravely in fair battle
Cut down upon his deck,
But driving lost on an iron coast,
And shot on a helpless wreck.

Unto Odessa's foreland
Who comes for vengeance due?
A legion bold in steel and gold, --
A fleet with seamen true!
O, shame! no sworn avengers,
But a gentle lady there,
Sitting alone by an uncarved stone
Weeping her wifely tear.

O black Odessan foreland,
Only his widow there!
O lonely, lonely sepulchre,
Only one falling tear!
Why roars no rage of cannon?
Why rings no levelled gun?
With sword and spear, not sigh and tear,
England should mourn her son.

She to that fatal foreland
Came o'er the stormy wave;
Shall women for the one they love
Alone be bold and brave?
How, England, will thy captains
Die bravely in thy strife,
When Giffard's rest no mourner blest
But a woman and a wife?

Far from Odessa's foreland
His vessel's jack was ta'en;
O for the death its champion died,
Win back that flag again.
Plant it with shot and sabre
Above the Russian's best;
And the conquering shout, as the cross flaunts out,
Shall bring him better rest.





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