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And though the battle lightning blazed,
    The thunders roar and roll,
He to Immortal Beauty raised,
    A statue with his soul.
And never did the Greeks of old
    Mirror in marble rare
A Wrestler of so fine a mould,
    An Athlete half so fair.

Homeward the dying Sea-king turns
    From his last famous fight,
For England's dear green hills he yearns
    At heart, and strains his sight.
The old cliffs loom out grey and grand,
    The old War-ship glides on,
With one last wave life tries to land,
    Falls seaward, and is gone.

With that last leap to touch the coast,
    He passed into his rest,
And Blake's unwearying arms were crossed
    Upon his martial breast.
And while our England waits, and twines
    For him her latest wreath,
His is a crown of stars that shines
    From out the dusk of death.

For him no pleasant age of ease,
    To wear what youth could win,
For him no children round his knees,
    To get his harvest in.
But with a soul serene, he takes
    Whatever lot may come;
And such a life of labour makes
    A glorious going home.

Famous old Trueheart, dead and gone,
    Long shall his glory grow,
Who never turned his back upon
    A friend, nor face from foe.
He made them fear old England's name
    Wherever it was heard,
He put her proudest foes to shame,
    For God smiled on his Sword.

Till she forget her old sea-fame,
    Shall England honour him,
And keep the grave-dust from his name,
    Till her old eyes be dim.
And long as free waves folding round,
    Brimful with blessing break,
At heart she holds him, calm and crowned,
    Immortal Robert Blake.


IF the confession that I have often travelled
from this Covent Garden lodging of mine on
Sundays, should give offence to those who never
travel on Sundays, they will be satisfied (I
hope) by my adding that the journeys in question
were made to churches.

Not that I have any curiosity to hear powerful
preachers. Time was, when I was dragged by
the hair of my head, as one may say, to hear
too many. On summer evenings, when every
flower, and tree, and bird, might have better
addressed my soft young heart, I have in my day
been caught in the palm of a female hand by the
crown, have been violently scrubbed from the
neck to the roots of the hair as a purification for
the Temple, and have then been carried off
highly charged with saponaceous electricity, to be
steamed like a potato in the unventilated breath
of the powerful Boanerges Boiler and his
congregation, until what small mind I had was quite
steamed out of me. In which pitiable plight I
have been hauled out of the place of meeting, at
the conclusion of the exercises, and catechised
respecting Boanerges Boiler, his fifthly, his sixthly,
and his seventhly, until I have regarded that
reverend person in the light of a most dismal
and oppressive Charade. Time was, when I
was carried off to platform assemblages at which
no human child, whether of wrath or grace,
could possibly keep its eyes open, and when
I felt the fatal sleep stealing, stealing over
me, and when I gradually heard the orator
in possession, spinning and humming like a
great top, until he rolled, collapsed, and tumbled
over, and I discovered to my burning shame and
fear, that as to that last stage it was not he,
but I. I have sat under Boanerges when he
has specifically addressed himself to usus, the
infantsand at this present writing I hear his
lumbering jocularity (which never amused us,
though we basely pretended that it did), and I
behold his big round face, and I look up the
inside of his outstretched coat-sleeve as if it were
a telescope with the stopper on, and I hate him
with an unwholesome hatred for two hours.
Through such means did it come to pass that I
knew the powerful preacher from beginning to
end, all over and all through, while I was very
young, and that I left him behind at an early
period of life. Peace be with him! More peace
than he brought to me!

Now, I have heard many preachers since that
timenot powerful; merely Christian, unaffected,
and reverentialand I have had many such
preachers on my roll of friends. But, it was
not to hear these, any more than the powerful
class, that I made my Sunday journeys. They
were journeys of curiosity to the numerous
churches in the City of London. It came into
my head one day, here had I been cultivating
a familiarity with all the churches of Rome, and
I knew nothing of the insides of the old churches
of London! This befel on a Sunday morning.
I began my expeditions that very same day, and
they lasted me a year.

I never wanted to know the names of the
churches to which I went, and to this hour I am
profoundly ignorant in that particular of at least
nine-tenths of them. Indeed, saving that I know
the church of old GOWER'S tomb (he lies in
effigy with his head upon his books) to be the
church of Saint Saviour's, Southwark, and the
church of MILTON'S tomb to be the church of
Cripplegate, and the church on Cornhill with
the great golden keys to be the church of Saint
Peter, I doubt if I could pass a competitive
examination in any of the names. No question
did I ever ask of living creature concerning
these churches, and no answer to any
antiquarian question on the subject that I ever put
to books, shall harass the reader's soul. A full
half of my pleasure in them, arose out of their
mystery; mysterious I found them; mysterious
they shall remain for me.