Poems of the Great War/Fourth of August

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The Fourth of August
by Laurence Binyon

THE FOURTH OF AUGUST


NOW in they splendour go before us,
    Spirit of England, ardent-eyed!
Enkindle this dear earth that bore us,
    In the hour of peril purified.

The cares we hugged drop out of vision,
    Our hearts with deeper thoughts dilate.
We step from days of sour division
    Into the grandeur of our fate.

For us the glorious dead have striven;
    They battled that we might be free.
We to that living cause are given,
    We arm for men that are to be.

Among the nations nobliest chartered,
    England recalls her heritage.
With her is that which is not bartered,
    Which force can neither quell nor cage.

For her immortal stars are burning,
    With her, the hope that's never done,
The seed that's in the Spring's returning,
    The very flower that seeks the sun.

We fight the fraud that feeds desire on
    Lies, in a lust to enslave or kill,
The barren creed of blood and iron,
    Vampire of Europe's wasted will.

Endure, O Earth! and thou, awaken,
    Purged by this dreadful winnowing-fan,
O wronged, untameable, unshaken
    Soul of divinely suffering man!