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To England

To England

Update: 2021-01-21
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To England.


I.

Lear and Cordelia! 'twas an ancient tale
Before thy Shakespeare gave it deathless fame;
The times have changed, the moral is the same.
So like an outcast, dowerless and pale,
Thy daughter went; and in a foreign gale
Spread her young banner, till its sway became
A wonder to the nations. Days of shame
Are close upon thee; prophets raise their wail.
When the rude Cossack with an outstretched hand
Points his long spear across the narrow sea,--
"Lo! there is England!" when thy destiny
Storms on thy straw-crowned head, and thou dost stand
Weak, helpless, mad, a by-word in the land,--
God grant thy daughter a Cordelia be!

[1852.]


II.

Stand, thou great bulwark of man's liberty!
Thou rock of shelter, rising from the wave,
Sole refuge to the overwearied brave
Who planned, arose, and battled to be free,
Fell, undeterred, then sadly turned to thee,
Saved the free spirit from their country's grave,
To rise again, and animate the slave,
When God shall ripen all things. Britons, ye
Who guard the sacred outpost, not in vain
Hold your proud peril! Freemen undefiled,
Keep watch and ward! Let battlements be piled
Around your cliffs; fleets marshalled, till the main
Sink under them; and if your courage wane,
Through force or fraud, look westward to your child!

[1853.]

G.H. BOKER.
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To England

To England

Steve Rimmer