First World War Poetry Digital Archive

This is No Case of Petty Right or Wrong

[THIS IS NO CASE OF PETTY RIGHT OR WRONG] by EDWARD THOMAS

This is no case of petty right or wrong That politicians or philosophers Can judge. I hate not Germans, nor grow hot With love of Englishmen, to please newspapers. Beside my hate for one fat patriot My hatred of the Kaiser is love true:--- A kind of god he is, banging a gong. But I have not to choose between the two, Or between justice and injustice. Dinned With war and argument I read no more Than in the storm smoking along the wind Athwart the wood. Two witches' cauldrons roar. From one the weather shall rise clear and gay; Out of the other an England beautiful And like her mother that died yesterday. Little I know or care if, being dull, I shall miss something that historians Can rake out of the ashes when perchance The phoénix broods serene above their ken. But with the best and meanest Englishmen I am one in crying, God save England, lest We lose what never slaves and cattle blessed. The ages made her that made us from dust: She is all we know and live by, and we trust She is good and must endure, loving her so: And as we love ourselves we hate her foe.

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