And she calls us, still unfed,
Though there's never a wave of all her waves
But marks our English dead:
We have strawed our best to the weed's unrest,
To the shark and the sheering gull.
If blood be the price of admiralty,
Lord God, we ha' paid in full !
"People will die, ships will be lost, that's the deal. Go to it." We are unlikely to call on naval leadership like his again. Lone Trident submarines on patrol; the odd salvo of cruise missiles when the USA asks for a bit of company on one of its adventures; mine-sweeping in the Gulf; shooting up pirates offshore Africa - no, not really fleet actions at all.
Then again, who could have foreseen the Falklands ?
* * * * * *And what shall we do when the cry goes up next time - The Hun is at the gate ! - eh, Cameron ?
Comfort, content, delight,
The ages' slow-bought gain
They shrivelled in a night ...
And who now is prescient to ensure ... a little State might ride secure / at sea from foes her sloth made bold - eh, Hammond ?
The moneys that should feed us
You spend on your delight
How can you then have sailor-men
To aid you in your fight ?