Pro Patria

Original Text: 
Owen Seaman, War-Time Verses (London: Constable, 1915): 7-8. SRLF_UCR:LAGE-4471945. Internet Archive.
2     Because, where Honour calls you, go you must,
3Be glad, whatever comes, at least to know
4       You have your quarrel just.
5Peace was your care; before the nations' bar
6     Her cause you pleaded and her ends you sought;
7But not for her sake, being what you are,
8       Could you be bribed and bought.
9Others may spurn the pledge of land to land,
10     May with the brute sword stain a gallant past;
11But by the seal to which you set your hand,
12       Thank God, you still stand fast!
13Forth, then, to front that peril of the deep
14     With smiling lips and in your eyes the light,
15Steadfast and confident, of those who keep
16       Their storied scutcheon bright.
17And we, whose burden is to watch and wait,--
18     High-hearted ever, strong in faith and prayer,
19We ask what offering we may consecrate,
20       What humble service share.
21To steel our souls against the lust of ease;
22     To find our welfare in the common good;
23To hold together, merging all degrees
24       In one wide brotherhood;--
25To teach that he who saves himself is lost;
26     To bear in silence though our hearts may bleed;
27To spend ourselves, and never count the cost,
28       For others' greater need;--
29To go our quiet ways, subdued and sane;
30     To hush all vulgar clamour of the street;
31With level calm to face alike the strain
32       Of triumph or defeat;--
33This be our part, for so we serve you best,
34     So best confirm their prowess and their pride,
35Your warrior sons, to whom in this high test
36       Our fortunes we confide.


1] Cf. Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est" (1918). Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: