As I watched the sapling growing into a mighty tree,
I was drawn to reflect on our country’s history,
Its forbears had provided the wood to build our “Men of War”,
Which had done so much in the defence of our shore.
The “Men of War” sailed out to meet the foe,
To the roars of the crowds gathered on Plymouth Ho,
They sailed out into the Channel knowing they would meet,
The Armada which was the pride of the Spanish Fleet.
Francis Drake their Commander was a man who knew no fear,
And his men were not afraid, knowing that he was near,
Their confidence in him was justified that day,
Most of the Armada was destroyed and the rest turned and sailed away.
Nelson and Frobisher were the names of two more,
Who served our country gallantly in the time of war,
Hearts of Oak had the ships in which they sailed,
Hearts of Oak had their men who prevailed.
For hundreds of years wooden ships sailed the seas,
Driven across the oceans by the prevailing breeze,
To discover lands which had lain unknown,
To find treasures that they could claim for their own.
They brought back fruit and vegetables that no one had every seen,
As trophies from the lands where they had been,
They are part of the good we still enjoy today,
Without any thought of those who risked their lives as they sailed away.
Drake and Raleigh were the heroes of their day,
They were prepared to lead their men into the fray,
Many of the crews did not even know their destination,
But they were prepared to risk their lives for the honour of our nation.
The ships of oak had men with hearts of oak,
As I watched that tree growing in my mind it did provoke,
Thoughts of the men who had created our history,
And whose deeds should live forever in our memory.