The Great War

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

The Song of the Britons

The Dead

Deep beneath the fallen years,

Slain by glittering foemen's spears,

With empty hands and a brow uncrowned,

To our native land our eyes we turn

By snares encompassed round.

Ah! God, as we gaze our steeled hearts yearn!

About her head, like a wind that veers,

The vultures of war whirl thick in the skies,

Hate in their hearts, in their gleaming eyes

Hate, and she stands, gentle of breath,

Watching the venomous eyes of Death!

O would we could range there, row on row,

Facing her foes at our sons' right hand,

Sunder them, sift them like dust, and go

Deathwards again for our motherland.

The Living

Lord God of Hosts, within Thy keeping hold

Our motherland! With mercies manifold

And gracious gifts divine point Thou the way

Her feet shall follow to the Judgment Day,

Lord God of Hosts!

When for the great assize

Thy trumpet sounds, O grant her strength to rise,

Peerless from her omnipotent estate,

With honour, power, and fame inviolate,

Lord God of Hosts!

Pall Mall Gazelle, August 5, 1914