The Great War

from Poems of the Great War, an electronic edition

India to England

O England! in thine hour of need,

When Faith's reward and valor's meed

Is death or glory,

When Faith indites, with biting brand,

Clasped in each warrior's stiffening hand,

A nation's story;

Though weak our hands, which fain would clasp

The warrior's sword with warrior's grasp

On victory's field;

Yet turn, O mighty Mother! turn

Unto the million hearts that burn

To be thy shield.

Thine equal justice, mercy, grace

Have made a distant alien race

A part of thee.

'Twas thine to bid their souls rejoice

When first they heard the living voice

Of Liberty.

Unmindful of their a ancient name,

And lost to honor -- glory -- fame,

And sunk in strife,

Thou found them, whom thy touch hath made

Men, and to whom thy breath conveyed

A nobler life.

They, whom thy love hath guarded long;

They, whom thy care bath rendered strong

In love and faith,

Their heartstrings round thy heart entwine,

They are, they ever will be, thine

In life -- in death.