What ancient sins of your abuse
Has from your mountained lips flowed down
Your river throats, and joined your silent
Where once the Vikings landed,
And gave to you some semblance
Of an old barbaric law.
What was the reason for your silent swim
That plucked you from the ocean’s endless floor
And flung your naked head into this world, and
Brought the men to touch your whitened, burning sand;
And fling their naked heads
Toward the sky above your soiled soul,
And touch the oar-struck, hallowed Helgoland.
So now you stand in the warring wind
And toss your conscience to its bloodied wing,
And where once you ruled as king, you only now
Command the creaming foam, and watch its pilgrims flying wild.