Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, KING PHILIP'S MEN, by AUDREY ALEXANDRA BROWN



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KING PHILIP'S MEN, by            
First Line: At dusk they heard the roar
Last Line: "dauntless in death!"
Subject(s): Courage; Disasters; Faith; God; Philip, King (Native American Chief); Shipwrecks; Spain; Spanish Armada; Valor; Bravery; Belief; Creed; Metacomet; King Philip's War (1675-76)


.... The Estrella and the Rosa de Dios, flying with the rest of the
Armada, were separated therefrom and driven upon the Orkneys by a great wind
that arose a little ere dusk. .... When therefore the captain of the Rosa de
Dios perceived that all hope was gone, he called his company together and
spoke to them, saying: "Men of Spain and servants of King Philip, God hath
ordained that from this our voyage there shall be no returning. Wherefore we
will first make our prayer as Christians, and afterward die like men."

At dusk they heard the roar
Of all the ocean hurled
Upon the iron shore
Of half the world.

Through the wan even-gloam
With whipped and straining breath
Blind-eyed across the foam
They looked on death.

Then said their captain—"Shriven
We drive upon the dawn;
Turn we to thoughts of heaven,
For earth is gone.

"Fair lips that praise our fame—
New April in the vine—
Pomegranate flowers like flame,
And golden wine—

"Bird-song and ivory rose—
All fruit of all delight,
God hath ordained shall close
For us to-night:

"Ay, and the bitter past,
The evil-starred campaign
End for us here at last,
O men of Spain!

"The great red death of day
Rushes upon our ships;
Keep courage—we will pray
With steadfast lips

"That God, who made us men,
Grant us like men to die:
Then will we rise, and then
Will lay life by.

"Not with dishonoring fear,
Though the deep thunder rolls
And the black verge is near,
Yield we our souls:

"We, who have dared the flood,
The rapier, and the flame,
Remember that high blood
From whence we came:

"Not flinching from the wave
Render we up our breath;
But turn to face our grave,
Dauntless in death!"





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