Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WHERE KITCHENER SLEEPS, by WILLIAM WILFRED CAMPBELL



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WHERE KITCHENER SLEEPS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O grim and iron-bastioned
Last Line: Thunder at bursay's feet?
Alternate Author Name(s): Campbell, W. W.
Subject(s): Kitchener, Horatio, 1st Earl (1850-1916); Sea; World War I; Ocean; First World War


O GRIM and iron-bastioned,
Tumultuous Orcades;
Of vast and awful maelstroms,
And eagle-taloned seas;—
Great is your cruel sovereignty,
But greater than all your might,
Was he, this strong world-captain,
Who entered your halls to-night.

Wild were the headland skerries,
And wilder the sunset's frown,
And the kelpie lords were abroad in the dark,
When Kitchener went down;
Down in the hour of duty,
His worldwide task scarce done,
'Mid the thunder of cannonading surfs,
And the searchlight gleam of the sun.

What fitter and truer ending,
Than greatly thus to die,
Called to his sleep in the kingly deep,
'Mid the pageant of water and sky;
To sink to his long, last slumber,
With Ocean to cradle his form;
And draw round the sweep of his lordly sleep
The mighty curtains of storm!

Yes, famed is the storied abbey
Where slumber our kingly dead;
And solemn the lofty-domed St. Paul's
Where the last sad rites are said;
But where in all earth's sepulchres
For this iron soul more meet,
Than to keep his rest where the titan surfs
Thunder at Bursay's feet?





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