by Henry Newbolt, Sir (1862 - 1938)

The King's Highway
Language: English 
When moonlight flecks the cruiser's decks 
And engines rumble slow, 
When Drake's own star is bright above 
And Time has gone below, 
They may hear who list the far-off sound 
Of a long-dead never-dead mirth, 
In the mid watch still they may hear who will 
The Song of the Larboard Berth. 

In a dandy frigate or a well-found brig, 
In a sloop or a seventy-four, 
In a great Firstrate with an Admiral's flag 
And a hundred guns or more, 
In a fair light air, in a dead foul wind, 
At midnight or midday, 
Till the good ship sink her mids shall drink 
To the King and the King's Highway!

The mids they hear no fear, no fear ! 
They know their own ship's ghost : 
Their young blood beats to the same old song 
And roars to the same old toast. 
So long as the sea-wind blows unbound 
And the sea-wave breaks in spray, 
For the Island's sons the word still runs 
"The King, and the King's Highway!" 


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2009-02-03
Line count: 24
Word count: 168