On a Troopship - 1915
FAREWELL, the village leaning to the hill,
And all the cawing rooks that homeward fly ;
The bees; the drowsy anthem of the mill
The willows winding under April sky !
We watch the breakers crashing on the bow,
And those far flashes in the Eastern haze :
The fields and friends, that were, are fainter now
Than whispering of ancient waterways.
Now England stirs, as stirs a dreamer wound
In immemorial slumber ; lids apart,
Soon will she rouse her giant limbs, attuned
To that old music hidden at her heart.
The small occasions and the menial cries
Fade fast away : the little men beware :
She rises in her circuit of the skies,
An eagle drinking of the mountain air.
We come to harbour in the breath of wars;
Welcome again, the land of our farewells
In this strange ruin, open to the stars,
We find the haven, where her spirit dwells.
Herbert Asquith's Other Poems
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