Stand still! Stand Still! Ye leaping waves
And mourn along with me
For a gallant ship has crossed the bar
Of the great eternal sea:
A flash, a roar, a blood red flame,
Then a huge overwhelming cloud,
And a thousand soles ( sic) are wrapped within
The ocean’s winding shroud.
Ten thousand doors do ever lead
To death upon the deep:
Sometimes they open silently
Sometimes our hearts do creep
When a blinding flash, and a deafening crash
Sends a good ship to her doom
And her gallant crew are hid from view
Within a watery tomb.
Oh! Little we know of the price men pay
Who guard the silvery sea,
Who keep our homes inviolate
Each town, each winding lea;
We reckon it up in paltry cash
In bars of gleaming gold
But the ransom’s dyed in a ruddy tide-
The blood of warriors bold!
So bare your heads ye landsmen all,
Who live at home in ease,
And pray the Lord that ye worthy be
Of the men that hold the seas;
Of the mighty Vanguard who are stood
So valiant in the strife,
Of her gallant crew that flashed from view
Through death to endless life!
From the Chatham News, 24 July 1917
Thanks to Jonathan Sanders for finding this poem
Also see excellent page on HMS Vanguard here.