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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Repudiated Responsibility
By William Watson (1858–1935)
 
From ‘The Purple East’

I HAD not thought to hear it voiced so plain,
  Uttered so forthright, on their lips who steer
  This nation’s course: I had not thought to hear
That word re-echoed by an English thane,
Guilt’s maiden speech when first a man lay slain,—        5
  “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Yet full near
  It sounded, and the syllables rang clear
As the immortal rhetoric of Cain.
“Wherefore should we, sirs, more than they—or they—
  Unto these helpless reach a hand to save?”        10
    An English thane, in this our English air,
Speaking for England? Then indeed her day
    Slopes to its twilight, and for Honor there
  Is needed but a requiem and a grave.
 
 
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