Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
A British–Roman Song
 
(A.D. 406)

MY father’s father saw it not,
  And I, belike, shall never come,
To look on that so-holy spot—
          The very Rome—
 
Crowned by all Time, all Art, all Might        5
  The equal work of Gods and Man,
City beneath whose oldest height—
          The Race began!
 
Soon to send forth again a brood,
  Unshakeable, we pray, that clings,        10
To Rome’s thrice-hammered hardihood—
          In arduous things.
 
Strong heart with triple armour bound,
  Beat strongly, for thy life-blood runs,
Age after Age, the Empire round—        15
          In us thy Sons
 
Who, distant from the Seven Hills,
  Loving and serving much, require
Thee—thee to guard ’gainst home-born ills,
          The Imperial Fire!        20
 
 
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