The Great War

from Lest We Forget, an electronic edition

To Great Britain.

Britain! you with a heart of flame

One as in days gone by,

You who honour your Nelson's name,

How could you hear the word of shame

Nor rise and give it the lie!

Better endure war's worst of ills,

The woe of a hundred fights,

Than cower behind your banks and tills

And smug with your money, your mines, your mills,

Forswear a neighbour's rights.

For how could you hope for a wide world's trust

If, traitor by land and sea,

You had let French lilies lie in the dust

Nor challenged for peace the War-Lord's lust

And struck for a Europe free.

Fight and in hope, for battle is banned,

The world shall yet rejoice,

For the peoples rise in wrath to demand

Henceforth no war shall trouble the land

Except at a people's voice.