By the armorer's tower the fire burned bright
In the long black shadows of coming night.
Quoth Franklin to Tomkyn, "Twenty to one
We shall both be gone ere to-morrow's sun—
Shoot a round for the love o' the game!"
By Ascalon towers the sun blazed red
Where one stood living and twenty were dead,—
Quoth Roger to Raimond, "We be but few,
Yet keener the triumph when steel rings true—
Break a lance for the Faith and the Name!"
By London Tower the watch-fires glowed
On the troops that marched by the Roman Road.
Quoth Drake to Howard, "Armadas be tall,
Yet the proudest oak in a gale may fall,—
Take a chance for Belphoebe's fame!"
They live in Valhalla who fought for their land
With dauntless heart and ungrudging hand,
They went to the task with a laugh and a jest,—
Peace to their souls, wherever they rest!
And we of their blood, wherever we go,
By the Carib Seas or the Greenland floe,
With heart unwearied and hand unstayed,
Must win or lose by the law they made,—
Strike hard—for the love o' the game!"