Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

A British-Roman Song Poem by Rudyard Kipling


(A. D. 406)
"A Centurion of the Thirtieth"


My father's father saw it not,
And I, belike, shall never come
To look on that so-holy spot --
That very Rome --

Crowned by all Time, all Art, all Might,
The equal work of Gods and Man,
City beneath whose oldest height --
The Race began!

Soon to send forth again a brood,
Unshakable, we pray, that clings
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 --
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!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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