For the want of a nail the shoe was lost

For the want of a nail the shoe was lost :
(The well-fashioned horse-shoe fire-new from the forge
Beaten as bright as the shield of St George )
Consider the cause , consider the cost
For the want of a nail the shoe was lost
( And all for the want of a horseshoe nail )

For the want of a shoe the horse was lost :
( The spirited war-horse highstepping and bold
Proud in his trappings of scarlet and gold )
Consider the cause , consider the cost ,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost
( And all for the sake of a horseshoe nail )

For the want of a horse the soldier was lost :
( The gallant young soldier arrayed for the ride
With plumes in his helmet and sword by his side )
Consider the cause , consider the cost ,
For the want of a horse the soldier was lost .
( And all for the sake of a horseshoe nail )

For the want of a soldier the battle was lost
( The bravely fought battle , decisive and stern
Where many came riding and did not return . )
Consider the cause , consider the cost ,
For the want of a soldier the battle was lost
( And all for the want of a horseshoe nail )

For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost :
( The well endowed kingdom , with cities and men
Meadow and mountain and forest and fen . )
Consider the cause , consider the cost ,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost .
( And all for the sake of a horseshoe nail . )

3rd December 1951