The Great War

from A Treasury of War Poetry, an electronic edition

The Challenge of the Guns

By day, by night, along the lines their dull boom rings,

And that reverberating roar its challenge flings.

Not only unto thee across the narrow sea,

But from the loneliest vale in the last land's heart

The sad-eyed watching mother sees her sons depart.

And freighted full the tumbling waters of ocean are

With aid for England from England's sons afar.

The glass is dim; we see not wisely, far, nor well,

But bred of English bone, and reared on Freedom's wine,

All that we have and are we lay on England's shrine.