Darkness—expectant, discreet— Only a lamp here and there, Gloom in the clattering street, Stygian black in the square; Dazzling fascias and fronts, Scintillant sky-scrapers banished, Snuffed and shut down are the spangles of Town. London has vanished. Only a few months ago London woke up every night; Dances or “Chemin” or Show, Festival vistas or light. Everywhere glitter and glare, Junket and revelry keeping. Yes, but despite the laughter and light, London was sleeping. Searchlights are probing the skies, Eastward their streamers are trailed; Masked are the city’s bright eyes— Even the tramcars are veiled. Cockneys turn in at eleven, “Stop Press” thirst finally slaked. Turn the lights out. Now, without doubt, London’s awake!
Jessie Pope - 1868-1941
The Zeppelin Armada
To-day, since Zeppelins are in the air, And folks glance skywards as they go their ways, Let us hark back a bit to an affair That happened in Queen Bess’s sturdy days, When the Armada, backed by Spanish lust— A fleet that floating palaces resembled— Sailed proudly forth to crush us in the dust, While all the tremulous in England trembled. What was the fate of those unwieldy craft? Our little frigates made of British oak Harassed the mighty galleons fore and aft, Handy to strike and shun the counterstroke. The Great Invasion ended in defeat. No more could Philip play the part of mocker, The rout of the Armada was complete, And down it went to Davy Jones’s locker. What frigates did in 1558 May be repeated in the air to-day, When clumsy Zeppelins may meet their fate From aeroplanes that sting and dart away. A well-equipped and handy air patrol Would circumvent an aerial attack. If London is to be the Zeppes’ goal, It’s up to us to see they don’t go back!