Sagas of Vaster Britain: Poems of the Race, the Empire and the Divinity of Man

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

ENGLAND


 

ENGLAND, England, England,
    Girdled by ocean and skies,
And the power of a world, and the heart of a race,
    And a hope that never dies.

England, England, England,

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    Wherever a true heart beats,
Wherever the rivers of commerce flow,
Wherever the bugles of conquest blow,
Wherever the glories of liberty grow,
    ‘Tis the name that the world repeats.
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And ye who dwell in the shadow
    Of the century’s sculptured piles,
Where sleep our century-honoured dead
While the great world thunders overhead,
    And far out miles on miles,
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Beyond the smoke of the mighty town,
    The blue Thames dimples and smiles;
Not yours alone the glory of old,
    Of the splendid thousand years,
Of Britain’s might and Britain’s right,
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    And the brunt of British spears.
Not yours alone, for the great world round,
    Ready to dare and do,
Scot and Celt and Norman and Dane,
With the Northman’s sinew and heart and brain,
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And the Northman's courage for blessing or bane,
    Are England's heroes too.

North and south and east and west,
    Wherever their triumphs be,
Their glory goes home to the ocean-girt isle,

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Where the heather blooms and the roses smile,
    With the green isle under her lee ;
And if ever the smoke of an alien gun
    Should threaten her iron repose,
Shoulder to shoulder against the world,
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    Face to face with her foes,
Scot and Celt and Saxon are one
    Where the glory of England goes.

And we the newer and vaster West,
    Where the great war-banners are furled,

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And commerce hurries her teeming hosts,
And the cannon are silent along our coasts,
Saxon and Gaul, Canadians claim
A part in the glory and pride and aim
    Of the Empire that girdles the world.
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England, England, England,
    Wherever the daring heart,
By Arctic floe or torrid strand,
    Thy heroes play their part;
For as long as conquest holds the earth,
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    Or commerce sweeps the sea,
By orient jungle or western plain,
    Will the Saxon spirit be:
And whatever the people that dwell beneath,
    Or whatever the alien tongue,
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Over the freedom and peace of the world
    Is the flag of England flung.
Till the last great freedom is found
    And the last great truth be taught,
Till the last great deed be done
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    And the last great battle is fought;
Till the last great fighter is slain in the last great fight
    And the war-wolf is dead in his den—
England, breeder of hope and valour and might,
    Iron mother of men.
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Yea, England, England, England,
    Till honour and valour are dead,
Till the world’s great cannons rust,
Till the world’s great hopes are dust,
    Till faith and freedom be fled,
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Till wisdom and justice have passed
To sleep with those who sleep in the many-chambered vast,
Till glory and knowledge are charnelled dust in dust,
To all that is best in the world’s unrest,
    In heart and mind you are wed.
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While out from the Indian jungle
    To the far Canadian snows,
Over the East and over the West,
Over the worst and over the best,
The flag of the world to its winds unfurled,
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    The blood-red ensign blows.