Antarctic

Original Text: 
The Collected Poems of T. W. H. Crosland (London: Martin Secker, 1917): 52. PR 4518 C686A17
1What tale is this which stirs a world of knaves
2Out of its grubbing to throw greasy pence
3Forth to the hat, and choke with eloquence
6Snows wrap them round eternally. From thence
7They may no more return to life or sense
8And a steel moon aches down on their chill graves.
9"They died for England." It is excellent
10To die for England. Death is oft the prize
11Of him who bears the burden and the load.
12So with a glory let our lives be spent --

Notes

4] doubtful staves: questionable metrical harmony (from the musical staff). Back to Line
5] Robert Falcon Scott and his four fellows (H. R. Bowers, E. Evans, L. E. G. Oates, and E. A. Wilson) died on their return after having reached the South Pole on January 18, 1912. Their bodies were found on November 12. Scott's last diary entry, made March 29, read: "we shall stick it out to the end but we are getting weaker of course and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity but I do not think I can write more -- R.Scott Last writing For Gods sake look after our people" (British Library postcard of original manuscript). Back to Line
13] Minories: a London street (pronounced "minneries") running from Aldgate High Street to Tower Hill. Back to Line
14] Camden Road: main working-class thoroughfare in west London. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1912
Publication Notes: 
Sonnets (London: John Richmond, 1912).
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2002
Rhyme: 
Form: