Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SONNET TO BRITAIN, by WILLIAM EDMONSTOUNE AYTOUN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SONNET TO BRITAIN, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Halt! Shoulder arms! Recover! As you were!
Last Line: Pounding them into mummy. Shoulder, hoop!
Alternate Author Name(s): Bon Gaultier (with Theodore Martin)
Subject(s): England; Soldiers; Wellesley, Arthur (1769-1852); English; Wellington, Duke Of

HALT! Shoulder arms! Recover! As you were!
Right wheel! Eyes left! Attention! Stand at ease!
O Britain! O my country! Words like these
Have made thy name a terror and a fear
To all the nations. Witness Ebro's banks,
Assaye, Toulouse, Nivelle, and Waterloo,
Where the grim despot muttered -- Sauve qui peut!
And Ney fled darkling. -- Silence in the ranks!
Inspired by these, amidst the iron crash
Of armies, in the centre of his troop
The soldier stands -- unmovable, not rash --
Until the forces of the foeman droop;
Then knocks the Frenchmen to eternal smash,
Pounding them into mummy. Shoulder, hoop!

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