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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Sonnet to Britain. “By the Duke of Wellington”

By William Edmondstoune Aytoun (1813–1865)

From the ‘Bon Gaultier Ballads’

HALT! Shoulder arms! Recover! As you were!

Right wheel! Eyes left! Attention! Stand at ease!

O Britain! O my country! Words like these

Have made thy name a terror and a fear

To all the nations. Witness Ebro’s banks,

Assaye, Toulouse, Nivelle, and Waterloo,

Where the grim despot muttered, Sauve qui peut!

And Ney fled darkling.—Silence in the ranks!

Inspired by these, amidst the iron crash

Of armies, in the centre of his troop

The soldier stands—unmovable, not rash—

Until the forces of the foemen droop;

Then knocks the Frenchmen to eternal smash,

Pounding them into mummy. Shoulder, hoop!