Lord Roberts

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 each 
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.