The Great War

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

In the Red Dawn

Oh, my England! thou hast heard --

Could the hearing leave thee cold ? --

Shattered vow and shameless word,

Bribe and menace and affront;

Think they that thou growest old

Since La Haie and Hougoumont?

Oh, my England! thou hast seen,

Not with dull or hopeless eyes,

How they wait, elate, serene,

For thine utter darkening;

How they hover o'er the prize,

Eagles red of claw and wing!

Thou hast heard -- and they shall hear;

Thou hast seen -- and they shall see;

With the sun upon thy spear,

And the moon upon thy helm,

Thou hast spoken, thou art free --

Thou shalt strike and overwhelm.

Thou art ours, and we are thine,

And the circling sea is ours;

In the dark immortal wine

We will pledge them, though we die.

For flame still upon our towers

Flags of hope and victory.

Evening Standard, August 11, 1914