A WIND blew out of the Prussian plain;
It scourged Liège, and it broke Louvain,
And Belgium shook with the tramp of Cain,
That a Kaiser might be mad.
"Iron is God!"—and they served him well—
"Honour a mark for shot and shell."
So they loosed the devils out of Hell
From Birr to Allahabad.
The Old Soldiers sing:
But we took them from Mons to the banks of the Marne,
And helped them back on their red return;
We can swim the Rhine if the bridges burn,
And Mike O'Leary's the lad!
Not for this did our fathers fall:
That truth, and pity, and love, and all
Should break in the dust at a trumpet's call,
Yea! all things clean and old.
Not to this had we sacrificed:
To sit at last where the slayers diced,
With blood-hot hands, for the robes of Christ,
And snatch at the Devil's gold.
The New Soldiers sing:
To Odin's challenge we cried Amen!
We stayed the plough, and laid by the pen,
And we shouldered our guns like gentlemen,
That the wiser weak should hold.
Blood on the land, and blood on the sea!
So it stands as ordained to be,
Stamp, and signet, and guarantee
Of the better ways we knew.
Time for the plough when the sword has won;
The loom will wait on the crashing gun,
And the hands of peace drop benison
When the task of death is through.
Old and New Soldiers sing:
Then lift the flag of the Last Crusade!
And fill the ranks of the Last Brigade!
March on to the fields where the world's re-made,
And the Ancient Dreams come true!