The Man who Keeps his Head

by Harold Begbie

There's a man who fights for England, and he'll keep her still atop,
He will guard her from dishonour in the market and the shop,
He will save her homes from terror on the fields of Daily Bread,
He's the man who sticks to business, he's the man who keeps his head.

Let the foe who strikes at England hear her wheels of commerce turn,
Let the ships that war with England see her factory furnace burn;
For the foe most fears the cannon, and his heart most quails with dread
When behind the man in khaki is the man who keeps his head.

Brand him traitor and assassin who with miser's coward mood
Has his gold locked up in secret and his larders stored with food,
Who has cast adrift his workers, who lies sweating in his bed,
And who snarls to hear the laughter of the man who keeps his head.

Let the poor man teach the rich man, for the poor man's constant strife
Is from day to day to seek work, day by day to war with life,
And the poor man's home hangs ever by a frail and brittle thread,
And the poor man's often hungry, but the poor man keeps his head.

When the ships come back from slaughter, and the troops march home from war;
When the havoc strewn behind us threats the road that lies before,
Every hero shall be welcomed, every orphan shall be fed,
By the man who stuck to business, by the man who kept his head.