Poetry for Men II
A REPLY TO THE CONQUERED BANNER
by Sir Henry Houghton, Bart.
Gallant nation, foiled by numbers!
Say not that your hopes are fled;
Keep that glorious flag which slumbers,
One day to avenge your dead.
Keep it, widowed, sonless mothers!
Keep it, sisters, mourning brothers!
Furl it now, but keep it still--
Think not that its work is done.
Keep it till your children take it,
Once again to hall and make it,
All their sires have bled and fought for;
All their noble hearts have sought for--
Bled and fought for all alone!
All alone! ay, shame the story!
Millions here deplore the stain;
Shame, alas! for England's glory,
Freedom called, and called in vain!
Furl that banner, sadly, slowly,
Treat it gently, for 'tis holy;
Till that day--yes, furl it sadly;
Then once more unfurl it gladly--
Conquered banner! keep it still!