Our Seal Hunter Dead (Maurice Devine)

Not theirs to die where the falchions flash,
'mid the din and smoke of war;
Where the fratricidal legions clash,
And the cannon blaze afar.

No drum-beat boomed o'er the field they trod,
The plains of shimmering white;
Where our brothers yielded their souls to God,
In the dark, borean night.

Red-blooded stalwarts were they all,
The pick of a Viking race;
From a hundred hunting sires the call,
Impelled them to the chase.

Though danger lurked by berg and pan,
They counted not their lives;
Each faced his duty like a man,
For home and babes and wives.

To life and laughter and kindred face,
To homes on the sea-swept shore;
The siren call of the ships of the chase,
Shall wake them nevermore.

No greave or cuirass for martial fight,
Was laced to their limbs or breast;
The gaff, the goggles, the belt, the knife,
Sufficient for their quest.

And forth they fared on the frozen fields,
Unheeding the threatening skies;
To prove that the true man never yields,
And to teach us how he dies.

Oh, mother, sisters, babes and wives,
Who weep by the northern sea;
May the God of pity o'erlook your lives,
And assuage your misery.

And believe that your husband, brother, son,
Has entered the realm of light;
Where the home-spun garb, for the deed well done,
Shall be changed into robes of white.

####.... Maurice A Devine [1859-1915] of Kings Cove, Bonavista Bay, NL ....####

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