The poem in question is "Vitai Lampada" by Sir Henry Newbolt. Written at a time when England's public schools were producing a generation which would fight for the Empire, the poem is an mix of the reality of war ("the square that broke" ie the remains of the formation of men after the Battle of Abu Klea and the puncturing of the myth of infallibility) and the love of honour and companionship embedded in the school system. The title roughly translates as "the passing on of the light"; an idea which is echoed in the third verse. From schoolboy dreams to carnage on the battlefield, the poem is at once stirring and desperate.
Vitai Lambada - Sir Henry Newbolt
There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night —
Ten to make and the match …