The Great War

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

The Battle of the Bight

Had I the fabled herb

That brought to life the dead,

Whom would I dare disturb

In his eternal bed?

Great Grenville would I wake,

And with glad tidings make

The soul of mighty Drake

Heave up a glorying head.

As rose the misty sun,

Our men the North Sea scanned,

And each rejoicing gun

Welcomed a Foe at hand,

And thundering its delight,

Opened its mouth outright,

And bit them in the Bight,

The Bight of Helgoland.

With Captains who could each

Do aught but yield or flee;

With guns that spake the speech

Shall keep this Kingdom free;

We hammered to their doom

Four Giants mid the gloom,

And one to a fiercer tomb

Sent blazing down the sea.

Sleep on, O Drake, sleep well,

In days not wholly dire!

Grenville, whom nought could quell,

Unquenched is still thy fire.

And thou that hadst no peer,

Nelson! thou need'st not fear:

Thy sons and heirs are here,

Nor shall they shame their sire.