The Hundredth Year

A poem by Henry Newbolt

"Drake, and Blake, and Nelson's mighty name."

The stars were faint in heaven
That saw the Old Year die,
The dream-white mist of Devon
Shut in the seaward sky:
Before the dawn's unveiling
I heard three voices hailing,
I saw three ships come sailing
With lanterns gleaming high.

The first he cried defiance--
A full-mouthed voice and bold--
"On God be our reliance,
Our hope the Spaniard's gold!
With a still, stern ambuscado,
With a roaring escalado,
We'll sack their Eldorado
And storm their dungeon hold!"

Then slowly spake the second--
A great sad voice and deep--
"When all your gold is reckoned,
There is but this to keep:

To stay the foe from fooling,
To learn the heathen schooling,
To live and die sea-ruling,
And home at last to sleep."

But the third matched in beauty
The dawn that flushed afar;
"O sons of England, Duty
Is England's morning star:
Then Fame's eternal splendour
Be theirs who well defend her,
And theirs who fain would bend her
The night of Trafalgar!"

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'The Hundredth Year' by Henry Newbolt

comments powered by Disqus