For the unveiling of the Jellicoe and Beatty Memorials
in Trafalgar Square, 21 October 1948
The memory of
LORD NELSON, LORD JELLICOE, LORD BEATTY
THE Spirit of the Service which uplifts
The deeds of seamen to their glorious best
Knows well that a diversity of gifts
Serves but to make its radiance manifest.
Of old the Sea Kings handed something on,
Each with his special cachet, great or small,
Which each relayed enhanced until there shone
In Nelson's hand the torch which knit them all.
Who, in his turn, bestowed rich gifts indeed
On his two brethren, but selecting such
As each, for his especial tasks would need,
Yet all ingredients of the Nelson touch.
So there arose the question asked by some,
Who knew not how such gifts arrived or whence,
Which of the twain should wear in years to come
The deathless laurels of pre-eminence?
On such the cryptic sightless eye is cast,
Of one with neither words or time to spare,
Only too thankful both have joined at last
His lonely vigil in Trafalgar Square.