Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ARMS AND THE MAN, by ARTHUR PETERSON



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ARMS AND THE MAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Hail the great admiral! Hail him who came
Last Line: And homeward now departs! Hail and farewell!
Subject(s): Admirals; Hero And Leander


1

Hail the great Admiral! Hail him who came,
One year ago, into this tropic bay,
Conquistador from out the far-off north,
And homeward now departs! Hail and farewell!

2

One year ago! As on the cruiser's deck
By night I sit, and watch thy broad expanse,
Manila Bay, lit by the moon's pale beam,
What dreams are mine! What visions of the Past!

3

The flag of Spain above Cavite's forts!
The fleet of Spain in battle's stern array!
The dark gray ships that, on that morn in May,
Out of the north, like phantom galleys, came,
And smote to death the fleet and forts of Spain!
Corregidor beheld them as they passed
In single, silent file -- Olympia leading,
Baltimore, Raleigh, Petrel, Concord, Boston --
The immortal six: Corregidor beheld them
Advancing like the messengers of Fate,
Prescient, inexorable -- the vanguard
Of great America, in southern seas
Her destiny imperial fulfilling:
Corregidor beheld them as they passed --
The Angles and the Saxons sailing on!

4

Once more the Northman with the Southron strove,
Once more the viking, as in days of old,
Crossing the dark blue ocean, seized his prey
Ere yet that prey had deemed the eagle near.

5

The months of war which followed: or with Spain,
Or crafty Aguinaldo's dusky hordes:
The dark gray ships on guard; the long searchlights
Stretching across the bay: ever and anon
The signals red and white from mast-head hanging
Like fiery constellations in the sky.
Now, as the fierce Tagals our lines assault,
The boom of Charleston's or Monadnock's guns
Proclaims the battle on: now, like a wave,
Wild, irresistible; or like a troop
Of tawny lions (so, methinks, they seem,
All clad in stout khaki) our soldier-lads --
By Otis, Lawton, brave MacArthur led --
O'erwhelm the Malay, and Malolos falls.
Now Aguinaldo flies. Thus passed the days --
Thus passed the nights -- in fair Manila's bay:
Thus passed a year which held a century's tasks --
A year which wrought a century's change: at last
"Come home," his country signaled him, "Well done!"

6

Hail the great Admiral! Hail him who came,
One year ago, into this tropic bay,
Conquistador from out the far-off north,
And homeward now departs! Hail and farewell!





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