Benjamin Britten

Across the darkened city the frosty searchlights creep, 
Alert for the first marauder, to steal upon our sleep. 

We see the sudden headlines float on the muttering tide. 
We hear them warn and threaten and wonder what they hide. 

There are whispers across tables, talks in a shutter’d room. 
The price on which they bargain will be a people’s doom. 

There’s a roar of war in the factories and idle hands on the street 
And Europe held in nightmare by the thud of marching feet. 

Now sinks the sun of surety, the shadows growing tall 
Of the big bosses plotting their biggest coup of all. 

Is there no strength to save us? No power we can trust. 
Before our lives and liberties are powder’d into dust. 

Time to arise Democracy, time to rise up and cry, 
That what our fathers fought for we’ll not allow to die. 

Time to resolve divisions, time to renew our pride, 
Time to decide, time to burst our house of glass. 

Rise as a single being in one resolve arrayed: 
Life shall be for the people that’s by the people made.

Text by Randall Swingler

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