Of old did Noah speak to his chosen,
To Shem and after him Japheth, his sons;
And from Japheth the isles of the gentiles,
His lordly son, nam’d Ashkenaz becomes!
Were they a little people so despised?
And yet rough caterpillars multiply,
Ancient Troy, the eastern guard of Asia,
Until Woden, to northern fastness fly.
Expand upon the shores of the Black Sea,
And then beyond boreal bounds their hand,
In icy wood and marish, axe men born,
Against iron Rome came they to England;
To Christ they turn’d, and to the world they rose;
Far by sea have they spread out, strong stand we,
Our tongue to give God’s Word to all nations;
Rising up with eagles’ wings, unweary.
(In honour of the faithful Protestants
And martyrs as recorded by John Foxe;
For still their blood speaks more than monuments,
Their deeds endure beyond the need for clocks!)
Vain Gog and his brigands despise and rob,
They fall to us in their shaking last end,
Melt down the scimitar! conquer darkness!
It is the call for Shem, to them we send.
By Matthew Verschuur