We have now set forth, in our imperfect way,
Ten years of history as a three hours' play,
Leaving to your quick fancy all, or much,
That made a stern reality of such!

Yet how should art, even thus, call clearly back
Court, camp, and council, battle and bivouac,
The din and uproar of that crashing time
By the mere conjurings of masque and rhyme,
Were it not helped today in saddest wise
By sudden sharp events beneath our eyes!
Nation at war with nation, cruel wrong
Inflicted on the weaker by the strong!

May such reminders soon for ever pass,
And war be but a shade on memory's glass,
May Might uphold the injured people's cause,
And Europe move again to genial laws;
May soon succumb all influences malign,
And still the Star of England proudly shine!

Written for the production of ‘The Dynasts’ at the Kingsway Theatre.
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