The Parents' Review
A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture
Edited by Charlotte Mason.
"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
The Invincible Armada.
Translated by E. P. Arnold-Forster.
Volume 1, 1890/91, pg. 435
It comes, it comes -- the haughty southern fleet
(The very ocean 'neath its weight complains),
Bearing a brand-new God, who has his seat
'Mid thousand thunders and the clank of chains.
Of frowning citadels a floating host,
(Its equal never stemmed the ocean's tides)
Invincible men call it, as it glides
Over the frightened waters towards the coast.
Terror gives meaning to the boastful name,
Terror its mien and attitude proclaim.
Onward in slow and stately guise it pressed,
(And Neptune staggering his burden bore)
The end of all things hidden in its breast,
And, as it neared, the tempest ceased to roar.
Great-hearted Britain, mistress of the deep,
Before thy shores the hostile navies stand,
And threaten with their countless hosts to sweep
From end to end thy happy, sea-girt land!
Woe to thy free-born race! A thunder cloud,
Pregnant with ill, hand o'er it like a shroud.
Who was it that this priceless treasure gained,
And made thee Queen of all the nations round?
It was thyself, by tyrant kings constrained,
Who that supremest law of empire found -
That glorious charter, which thy princes brings
Down to the ranks, lifts citizens to kinds.
A million foes thine undisputed might
At sea has vanquished in unequal fight.
Let neighbouring peoples own with one accord
Thy spirit wrought it and thy trusty sword!
Unhappy land! Before these ponderous keels,
With thunders charged, thine ancient glory reels;
The very earth stands gazing with affright,
And all free hearts beat faster at the sight,
And noble souls await with sorrowing shame
Th' impending ruin of thine ancient fame.
But God almighty, watching from on high,
Saw thy foe's lion-blazoned ensigns wave.
"Shall I," said he, "commit without a sigh
Mine own dear Albion to a certain grave,
Witness the fall of this heroic stock
Which stems oppression like a wall of rock,
Suffer extinction from this rolling sphere
Of the one dam 'gainst Tyranny's career?"
"Never," he cried, "this cradle of the Free,
This home of manly valour shall go down!"
*Th' Almighty breathed, and over every sea,
To every wind the Armada's might was strown.
Typed by happi, January 2016