[Line 2] pound: to crush, break down or beat.
[Line 3] blown: exhausted, worn out.
[Line 13] Elizabeth: Queen Elizabeth 1 of England 1558 -1603, the last of the Tudor monarchs.
[Line 14] the Spaniard: Philip II, King of Spain 1558-1598. Many years before his attempted invasion of England, he had been married to Elizabeth’s half-sister Mary I, Queen of England 1553-1558.
[Line 15] his grim Armada: the fleet sent by Philip II of Spain with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth and restoring Roman Catholicism in England. It was defeated on 9 August 1588 by the English navy, the creation of which Fletcher and Kipling hail as one of the greatest achievements of the Tudors.
[Line 20] Can sleep on their bed … leave ‘em alone!: the need for Britain to be always aware of national security and to remain strong militarily in order to deter any thought of attack by other nations is not only the moral of this poem, but a theme that runs through the whole of A School History.
©Peter Keating 2010 All Rights Reserved