The Great War

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

Britannia

Men deemed her changed, and lo!

At word of war unveiled,

She stands, as long ago,

She stood when Nelson sailed.

The sea wind in her hair,

The salt upon her lips,

Upon the Forelands fair

She guards the English ships.

She watched the Normans land,

The Golden Hind set sail,

And, touched as by a hand,

The great Armada fail.

She watched the Victory

Lead out the Fleet to war,

And o'er the salt blue sea

Return from Trafalgar.

Men deemed her changed, and lo!

She stands unto the end,

With sword to strike the foe

And shield to guard a friend.

Across the wave she rules

That lesson shall be read

By foemen -- and the fools

Who dream that Drake is dead.

Daily Express, August 7, 1914