This is the weird of a world-old folk,
That not till the last link breaks,
Not till the night is blackest,
The blood of Hengist wakes.
When the sun is black in heaven,
The moon as blood above,
And the earth is full of hatred,
This people tells its love.
In change, eclipse, and peril,
Under the whole world’s scorn,
By blood and death and darkness
The Saxon peace is sworn;
That all our fruit be gathered,
And all our race take hands,
And the sea be a Saxon river
That runs through Saxon lands.
Lo! not in vain we bore him;
Behold it! not in vain,
Four centuries’ dooms of torture
Choked in the throat of Spain,
Ere priest or tyrant triumph–
We know how well–we know–
Bone of that bone can whiten,
Blood of that blood can flow.
Deep grows the hate of kindred,
Its roots take hold on hell;
No peace or praise can heal it,
But a stranger heals it well.
Seas shall be red as sunsets,
And kings’ bones float as foam,
And heaven be dark with vultures,
The night our son comes home.