The Great War

from Lest We Forget, an electronic edition

A Call to the Four Nations.

Men of the English nation, men of the English race,

Your kinsmen battle in Flanders; you must back them in their place.

They have done the deeds of heroes; try to do better than they;

For if ever the Devil triumph there is ever the Devil to pay.

Shall Trafalgar, Waterloo, Agincourt, all the immortal lot,

Mean no more than a fairy tale, to be told and to be forgot?

Here in our little island, we have heard the roar of the guns;

Let manhood answer the challenge, and strike the stroke at the Huns.

They sap our cities with spying, would sap our spirit with lies

They talk of surprising England; be it her part to surprise.

The Bugle of Hope is blowing, the Flag of Faith unfurled.

So follow the Call and the Colours and save the Soul of the World.

Men of the Scottish nation, men of the Scottish race,

When the cries of your pipes are uttered, the foe goes pale in the face.

They have lilted loud on a thousand fields, they must lilt louder still,

Till the heart of the Hun is water for the surly songs they shrill.

Lads of the Clans and the Tartans, lads of the Lowland kin,

if none can teach you a losing game, you need no teaching to win.

You have shared great pages of story; there's a greater story to spell;

Highlanders, Lowlanders, bear in mind, it is partly yours to tell:

For the more you send to the muster, the more will have power to deal

With the killers of women and children, the preachers of Blood and Steel.

The Bugle of Hope is blowing, the Flag of Faith unfurled.

So follow the Call and the Colours and save the Soul of the World.

Men of the Cymric nation, men of the Cymric race,

With English and Irish and Scotchmen, will Welshmen not keep pace?

Roman and Saxon and Norman you fought in the days of old;

You gave kings and queens to England, to have her and to hold;

You did well for queen and country when the rage of Spain was strong;

Do better for king and country, in the face of a greater wrong.

For the shade of Elizabeth Tudor entreats you to send your men,

From hill and lake and river, from pen and fen and glen,

So come from the northland and southland, come from the west and the east.

To shoulder the rifle of empire, and fight with the Yellow Beast.

The Bugle of Hope is blowing, the Flag of Faith unfurled.

So follow the Call and the Colours and save the Soul of the World.

Men of the Irish nation, men of the Irish race

England has given you freedom; repay her with grace for grace;

Double the deed of Fontenoy, when you saved the day for France;

Serve France again, and England, with an Irish Brigade's advance.

On the nameless grave of Emmet you may epitaph his worth,

Taking your place in the fighting line with the Nations of the Earth.

Though you shed your blood like Sarsfield, you do not share his rue,

You shed your blood for Ireland, you shed it for England too.

Give in the cause of the Holy War the best account you can

Of the knaves who train their cannon on the shrines of the Son of Man.

The Bugle of Hope is blowing, the Flag of Faith unfurled.

So follow the Cause and the Colours and save the Soul of the World.