NICE, JANUARY 30, 1914.
If any in an island cradle curled
Of comfort, may make offerings to you,
Who in the day of all denial blew
A bugle through the blackness of the world,
An English hand would touch your shroud, in trust
That truth again be told in English speech.
And we too yet may practise what we preach,
Though it were practising the bayonet thrust.
Cutting that giant neck from sand to sand,
From sea to sea; it was a little thing
Beside your sudden shout and sabre-swing
That cut the throat of thieves in every land.
Heed not if half-wits mock your broken blade:
Mammon our master doeth all things ill.
You are the Fool that charged a windmill. Still,
The Miller is a Knave; and was afraid.
Lay down your sword. Ruin will know her own.
Let each small statesman sow his weak wild oat,
Or turn his coat to decorate his coat,
Or take the throne and perish by the throne.
Lay down your sword. And let the White Flag fade
To grey; and let the Red Flag fade to pink,
For these that climb and climb; and cannot sink
So deep as death and honour, Deroulede.