August 1st 1914: Germany declares war on Russia

by Instant Noodle


[Lines composed on what looks like the eve of a European war; and designed lo represent the views of an average British patriot.]

To Servia.

You have won whatever of fame it- brings

To have murdered a King and the hoir of Kings;

And it well may be that your sovereign pride

Chafes at a touch of its tender hide;

But why should I follow your fighting-line

For a matter that’s no concern of mine?

To Austria.

You may. if you like, elect to curb

The dark designs of the dubious Serb,

And to close your Emperor’s days in strife –

A tragic end to a tragic life;

But why in the world should I stand to lose

By your bellicose taste for Balkan coups?

To Russia.

No doubt the natural course for you

Is to bid the Austrian bird ” Go to! ”

He can’t be suffered to spoil your dream

Of a beautiful Pan-Slavonic scheme;

But Britons can never be Slavs, you see,

So what has your case to do with me?

But since Another, if you insist,

Will be cutting in with his mailed fist,

I shall be asked to a general scrap

All over the European map,

Dragged into somebody else’s war,

For that’s what a double entente is for.

Well, if I must, I shall have to fight

For the love of a bounding Balkanite;

But O what a tactless choice of time,

When the bathing season is at its prime!

And how I should hate to miss my chance

Of wallowing off the coast of France!