Canadian Singers and Their Songs/Agnes Maule Machar


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AGNES MAULE MACHAR
(FIDELIS)

AUTHOR OF "LAYS OF THE TRUE NORTH," ETC.

The Warders of The Seas.-Aug, 4-5 1914

I


In the solemn midnight watches, while the land lays fast asleep,
And silence broods o'er peaceful fields and farms,
The battleships of Britain ride forth upon the deep,
To meet the bristling Titans-the boast of Teuton arms;{{subst:--}}
{{subst:--}}And Britain's troth to keep!
They guard a nation's honour,{{subst:--}}an Empire's future hold,
Millions of hearts are praying for their prowess and their power,
With human hopes full-freighted for ages yet untold,
Of Peace and Freedom wrested from Eagle's fateful hour
{{subst:--}}They speed on-stern and bold!
"Lord of Nations! Who dids't shatter a proud Armada`s might,
Be their shield and unseen Vanguard"{{subst:--}}with one voice a nation cries,
"God and the Right" {{subst:--}}their war-cry-to nerve them for the fight,
To win-for Man and Freedom, where'er their standard flies,
The triumph of the Right!

II{{subst:--}} Four years later.


Oh mariners of Britain!{{subst:--}}Four fateful years ago,
Ye heard the sudden summons to the strife
That sped you to the trackless seas to curb the haughty foe
To guard Britannia's honour{{subst:--}}and her life!
Your charge ye took whole-hearted;{{subst:--}}one trust before you lay,
Great Dreadnought or small fishing-smack{{subst:--}} the freedom of the sea!
To hearts of struggling nations ye strove for strength and stay,
Never failing as the bulwark of the free!
On quarterdeck or masthead-fog-bound, or tempest tossed
While the mountain waves surged hissing o'er the deck,
Unhasting and unresting-your brave men held their post,
Or calmly went down, singing, mid the wreck!
Through moonlight or though starlight, your task was never done,
Never-ending was your faithful watch and ward;
From the flush of rose dawn, till sank the golden sun,
'Neath the mighty waste of waters that ye guard.
For you there's no Trafalgar to strike one fateful blow
For the flag that braves the battle and the breeze;
Best ye keep, undimmed, the glory of Britain's island story,
And{{subst:--}}by God's grace,{{subst:--}}the freedom of the Seas!

Agnes Maule Machar.