Successful Recitations eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 540 pages of information about Successful Recitations.

III.—­LADYSMITH RELIEVED.

               Then, when all seemed lost but glory
               With the lustre which it gave,
               And Relief an idle story
               Murmured by a sealed grave;
               While with pallid lips they reckoned
               Darkly the enduring days
               Famished, lo!  Deliverance beckoned
               Surely after long delays.

               Wave on wave of martial beauty,
               Dashed upon those deadly rocks
               At the simple call of duty,
               And were broken by the shocks. 
               Yet that chivalry of splendour,
               Though baptized in blood and fire,
               Had no thought of mean surrender
               Never breathed the word retire.

               Still they weighed the dreadful chances,
               Still they gathered up their strength,
               By invincible advances
               Steeled to win the prize at length. 
               Fate-like their resolve to sever
               Those gaunt bonds of grim despair,
               And within the breach for ever
               England’s honour to repair.

               Came relief at last, endeavour,
               Stern, magnificent, and true,
               Hoping on and fighting ever,
               Forced its gory passage through. 
               All the rage of pent-up forces,
               All the passion seeking vent
               Out of vast and solemn sources,
               Here renewed their sacrament;

               In the rapture of a greeting
               For which thousands fought and bled,
               With the saved and saviours meeting
               Over our Imperial dead. 
               Witnesses unseen but tested
               Lived again as grander men,
               And their awful shadow rested
               With a benediction then;

               One who with his wondrous talent
               Conquered more than even the sword,
               And among the gay and gallant
               By his pen was crowned lord. 
               There they lie in silence lowly
               Which no battle now can wake,
               And the ground is ever holy
               For our English heroes’ sake.

THE SIX-INCH GUN.

(From the Christmas number of the Bombshell, published in Ladysmith during the siege.)

        There is a famous hill looks down,
        Five miles away, on Ladysmith town,
        With a long flat ridge that meets the sky
        Almost a thousand feet on high. 
          And on the ridge there is mounted one
          Long-range, terrible six-inch gun.

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