Come Quietly, Britain!

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COME quietly, Britain, all together, come!
It is time!
We have waited, weighed, and wondered
Who had blundered;
Stared askance at one another
As our brother slew our brother,
And went about our business,
Saying: 'It will all be right–some day.
Let the soldiers do the killing–
If they're willing–
Let the sailors do the manning,
Let the Cabinets do the planning,
Let the bankers do the paying,
And the clergy do the praying.
The Empire is a fixture–
Walled and welded by five oceans,
And a little blood won't move it,
Nor a flood-tide of emotions.'

Well, now we know the truth
And the facts of all this fighting;
How 'tis not for England's glory
But for all a wide world's righting;
Not for George nor party power,
Not for conquest nor for dower,
Not for fear of our last hour,
But the lone star of liberty and light.
What the Puritans left England for,
What the Irish their green isle;
What Adolphus pledged his life to,
And Orange took from Spain–
The Spain that Grenville throttled,
And Frankie broke in twain–
What Washington starved and strove for
In the long winter night;
Lincoln wept for, died for–
Do we doubt if he were right?

Ah! It is time, if the soul of these is ours–
Time to put an end to reason
And take the field for right.
They will lead us, never fear it,
They will lead us through the night.
They will steel the soul and sinew
Of the legions of the land;
They will pilot up the Dreadnoughts
With the tillers in their hand–
Howard and Frobisher and Drake–
And who would fear to follow
When Nelson sets the course?
And who would turn his eyes away
From Wellington's white horse?

Not one, I warrant, now–
Not one at home to-day;
In England? In Scotland?
In the Green Isle 'cross the way?
No, nor far away to westward
Beyond the leagues of foam–
They are coming, they are coming,
Their feet are turning home.
In Canada they're singing,
And love lies like a flame
About their hearts this morning
That sea-winds cannot tame.
Africa? Australia?
Aye, a million throats proclaim
That their Motherland is Mother still
In something more than name!

It is time! Come, all together, come!
Not to the fife's call, not to the drum;
Right needs you; Truth claims you–
That's a call indeed
One must heed!
Not for the weeping
(God knows there is weeping!);
Not for the horrors
That are blotting out the page;
Not for our comrades
(How many now are sleeping!)
Nor for the pity nor the rage,
But for the sake of simple goodness
And His 1aws,
We shall sacrifice our all
For The Cause!

© Lloyd Roberts