The Great War

from Late Songs, an electronic edition

After Jutland

The City of God is late become a seaport town

For the clean and bronzed sailors walking up and down

And the bearded Commanders, the Captains so brave,

Bringing there the taste of the sea from the salt sea


There are boys in the City's streets make holiday

And all around are playing-fields and the boys at play;

They dive in clear waters, climb many a high tree,

They look out as they used to do for a ship at sea.

The sailor keeps a clean soul on the seas untrod;

There is room in the great spaces for the Vision of God

Walking on the waters, bidding him not fear;

He has the very cleanest eyes so brave, so clear.

There's salt wind in Heaven and the salt sea-spray,

And the little midshipmen boys are shouting at their


There's a soft sound of waters lapping on the shore,

The sailor he is home from sea to go back no more.