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Alfred Austin

(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

A Dream Of England


I had a dream of England. Wild and weird,
The billows ravened round her, and the wrack,
Darkening and dwindling, blotted out the track,
Then flashed on her a bolt that scorched and seared.
She, writhing in her ruin, rolled, and reared,
Then headlonged unto doom, that drove her back
To welter on the waters, blind and black,
A homeless hulk, a derelict unsteered.
Wailing I woke, and through the dawn descried,
Throned on the waves that threatened to o'erwhelm,
The England of my dream resplendent ride,
And armoured Wisdom, sovran at the helm,
Through foaming furrows of the future guide
To wider empire a majestic Realm.

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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  • John Mahon (7/9/2013 10:09:00 AM)

    Something about this poem I find unintentionally humorous. I'm sure it has to do with Austin's perception among literary critics as being overly patriotic. The idea of a grown man having a nightmare about his country being destroyed, and then waking up wailing just puts a funny image in my head. But that's actually what makes this poem so fun. (Report) Reply

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