HMS Vanguard by Ronald Hopwood

Chose for her helm more fair than fame
A spotless record to her ancient name
Her compass that which varied not not
Lit by a loyalty that never failed
Shone high tradition when the Vanguards sailed
So sailing, found the haven of their quest,
Where they are glad, because they are
at rest

She shall fear no doubting challenge
Streaming out against the sky,
When she makes the shining harbour
Where the old world Vanguards lie
For her name shows bright as ever,
Free from all that stains or harms
To the mariners and captains and the
mail-clad men-at-arms

Can you hear the swell of cheering thro’
the crush of culverin
As they man their yards and castle for
a Vanguard’s coming in?
But her Squadron, all in silence, set
their steel-clad stern to sea,
For the wake shows white and empty
where their sister loved to be.

‘The Secret of the Ships’

‘The Spectator’ of 20th January 1917 reviewed Captain Ronald Hopwood ‘The Old Way’
“The fine imaginative poem, ” The Old Way,” which stands first in Captain Ronald Hopwood’s volume,” appeared in the Times last Sept- ember, and, like all the pieces in the book, it emphasizes the continuity of England’s naval spirit. As for ” The Laws of the Navy,” published in the Naval and Military Record in October, 1893, they form an epitome of the unwritten rules of the Silent Service which has already become almost classical. The new solidarity of the Royal Navy and the Mer- chant Service is admirably illustrated in ” The Auxiliary “—addressed to the trawlers, lineal descendants of Drake and Hawkins—and Captain Hopwood proves himself a good naval historian as well as a poet in ” The Figureheads ” and ” The Boatswain’s Tale.” based on incidents of sea warfare in the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.”

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