Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume II/Britannia
I AM calling together my sons—
The children my love gave birth,
I am arming them
As the swift sand runs,
And sending them with their battle guns,
To prove their manhood's worth.
I should have, God knows, less power
To stay them by pleadings poor
Than the mother who tried
In woodland bower
To hold from knighthood—
His rightful dower—
Her boy, Sir Peredur!
For they know full well, as he knew,
How base is the touch of fear
When tyrannous wrong
Would right subdue;
And they to me
And themselves are true
When danger draweth near.
Oh, strong with the love I gave,
Their souls have the strength I give,
Who have taught my sons
To be pure and brave,
Nor to fly the chance of a hero's grave,
Where, deathless, heroes live!