Greenwich Hospital

William Lisle Bowles

Come to these peaceful seats, and think no more
Of cold, of midnight watchings, or the roar
Of Ocean, tossing on his restless bed!
Come to these peaceful seats, ye who have bled
For honour, who have traversed the great flood,
Or on the battle's front with stern eye stood,
When rolled its thunder, and the billows red
Oft closed, with sudden flashings, o'er the dead!
  Oh, heavy are the sorrows that beset
Old age! and hard it is--hard to forget
The sunshine of our youth, our manhood's pride!
But here, O aged men! ye may abide
Secure, and see the last light on the wave
Of Time, which wafts you silent to your grave;
Like the calm evening ray, that smiles serene
Upon the tranquil Thames, and cheers the sinking scene.

The magnificent collection of buildings by the Thames that is Greenwich Hospital was designed by Christopher Wren. Construction was started in 1696 and completed in 1712. It closed in 1869 and soon after became the Royal Naval College, a purpose it served until 1998.

It is now the centrepiece of the UNESCO World Heritage site known as Maritime Greenwich.