Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume II/The Band of the Titanic
THE BAND OF THE TITANIC
"These are the immortal,—the fearless"—Upanishads
UP, lads! they say we've struck a berg, though there's no danger yet,—
Our noble liner was not built to wreck!—
But women may have felt a shock they're needing to forget,
And when there's trouble, men should be on deck.
Come!—now's the time! They're wanting us to brighten them a bit;
Play up, my lads—as lively as you can!
Give them a merry English air! they want no counterfeit
Like that down-hearted tune you just began!...
I think the Captain's worried, lads: maybe the thing's gone wrong;
Well, we will show them all is right with us!
Of Drake and the Armadas now we'll play them such a song
Shall make them of the hero emulous.
When boats are being lowered, lads, your place and mine are here,—
Oh, we were never needed more than now!
When others go, it is for us those left behind to cheer,
And I am glad, my lads, that we know how!
If it is Death that's calling us, we'll make a brave response;
Play up, play up!—ye may not play again;
The prize that Nelson won at last, the chance that comes but once,
Is ours, my lads!—the chance to die like men!