James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

December 9


By Craven Langstroth Betts (1853–1941)

(Born Dec. 9. 1608)

FOR thrice ten years the paladin’s hand and brain

Upheld thine altar, Freedom, o’er thy land!

Then Heaven those later lustres did command,

That orb of song that set without a stain.

Then rose in power perpetual, doth remain

Unshorn of glory, destined to expand

Supreme o’er Heaven and Hell, voicing the grand

Oceans of knowledge, sacred and profane.

Beside the laureled Tuscan doth he rest

O’erlooking all the worlds, and on his brow

The amaranth of God, the poet’s vow,

And the deep love for England in his breast.

O, Samson of our Israel, would that thou

Wert living still to strike for earth’s oppressed!