Battle of the Sea of Japan
May 27 and 28,
Great past all strength of watchers to appraise,
The deed by faith and patient valour done
When on Tsushima’s waters sank the sun
And night’s grim victory followed on the day’s!
Before the Western nations’ wondering gaze
The East stood forth, and fought for life, and won.
Ship by ship foundered, gun by giant gun,
And a new Empire met the morning’s rays.
What that fierce anguish meant what tongue can tell?
Fate’s full desire what mortal power can name
Or reach the secret of the word that came
Fire-winged from heaven through battle’s monstrous hell?
But this we know, that some vast idol fell
And Nelson’s land is glad at Togo’s fame.
See notes about Barlow
under The Anglo-Japanese Treaty Sonnet.
‘Battle of the Sea of Japan’ appeared in volume 11 of The
Poetical Works of George Barlow (London: Glaisher, 1914).