The Great War

from Poems of the Great War, an electronic edition

Sonnet

October 1st, 1914

England! that thou wast faint of heart we said,

Or inly thought; and that the wreath of bays

Drooped on thy brow, withered with length of days,

A dust-layered trophy of the age-long Dead:

We wronged thee much! -- Myriads this month have bled

And died for thee, and though the end delays,

There's not one that a daunted spirit betrays

Nor that for thee life's last drop would not shed!

We deemed thy robes grown faded, -- but fresh-dyed

We now behold them, -- and their crimson dye

Is of thy sons' spilt blood, deep-hued and glowing:

O England! thou art comely in thy pride

And clad in glorious raiment, and thy going

Is as of one who goes to victory!

Notes

October 1st, 1914