Walking through the city after recent rain
heard ancient stones all shining murmur where are they?
How long before next hero's day
and the splendid show of drum and gun.
Walking by the river one September eve
saw questions rise in circles on that old dark stream.
Where now are those who dared to dream
they would leave one jewel in England's hand.
Gone to sleep they lie in flowered graves
for the visitors and Guidebook saved.
But come the trumpet shattered dawn
will the spirit they shared be reborn.
Comrades in arms, may they rise, fight and shine again,
till "who goes there", will be answered with friend again.
Once there stood a man, alone, sword in his hand.
In the face of the teeth and flame -
and it was all in England's name.
I was told how she grew, she alone shone her light on everyone.
And if you made the first eleven then you'd be sure to get to heaven,
like the captain of the school.
I was taught how to win
and to lose with that "get you next time" smile,
Learned Latin verbs in fear of a beating
and for years thought central heating,
was for just old people's homes.
I was raised on the past, the Tower and Saint Paul's and Westminster
escorted well-bred girls to dances, and learned to drive a horse in harness,
through the English countryside.
I was taught to behave, like an officer and a gentleman,
and when I finally marched from Sandhurst
I learned to put my fellow man first
and there was daily talk of war.
I spent 1938 in the United States of America,
I grew to love it's many faces, and they had built some amazing places,
and I thought they'd come in on our side.