I cannot climb this mighty rampire’s breast
        Without a thought of those fierce men of old,
Who steered adventurous galleys, and were bold
To scale the white cliff’s yet unconquered breast,
Smote down the hind, the shepherd dispossessed,
And few, against a multitude untold,
Planned out what little kingdom they could hold,
And built their wall against the whole wide west.
First of our land’s invaders—whether thirst
For wider acres or for wiser laws,
Or led by natural wish some way to win
Beyond the heaving grey that hedged them in—
Theirs was the glory of a desperate cause;
Others have followed after, these were first


(Sonnets Round the Coast, p. 204)