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Lord Roberts

 1914

He passed in the very battle-smoke
 Of the war that he had descried.
Three hundred mile of cannon spoke When the Master-Gunner died.
He passed to the very sound of the guns; But, before his eye grew dim, He had seen the faces of the sons Whose sires had served with him, He had touched their sword-hilts and greeted With the old sure word of praise; And there was virtue in touch and speech As it had been in old days.
So he dismissed them and took his rest, And the steadfast spirit went forth Between the adoring East and West And the tireless guns of the North.
Clean, simple, valiant, well-beloved, Flawless in faith and fame, Whom neither ease nor honours moved An hair's-breadth from his aim.
Never again the war-wise face, The weighed and urgent word That pleaded in the market-place- Pleaded and was not heard! Yet from his life a new life springs Through all the hosts to come, And Glory is the least of things That follow this man home.

Poem by Rudyard Kipling
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