The Great War

from Songs & Sonnets for England in War Time, an electronic edition

To Britain

(Before Her Declaration of War)

Art thou awake at last, or wilt thou sleep

Still on the downy cushions of thy sloth,

Trusting the ambient armour of the deep

To ward the foeman's darts? However loth,

Thou must arise, draw thine own armour on,

Unsheathe thy sword, and, faithful, take thy stand,

Foremost amid thy friends. Thy banners shone

On Belgian fields before; as now, thy land

Was menaced then; as then, be strong, endure!

But when the dark days pass, if pass they do,

Slumber no more, in foolish dream secure;

With blood and sweat anneal thy sword anew.