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Dante Gabriel Rossetti

(12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882 / London / England)

Ashore At Dover


On landing, the first voice one hears is from
An English police-constable; a man
Respectful, conscious that at need he can
Enforce respect. Our custom-house at home
Strict too, but quiet. Not the foul-mouthed scum
Of passport-mongers who in Paris still
Preserve the Reign of Terror; not the till
Where the King haggles, all through Belgium.
The country somehow seems in earnest here,
Grave and sufficient:—England, so to speak;
No other word will make the thing as clear.
“Ah! habit,” you exclaim, “and prejudice!”
If so, so be it. One don't care to shriek,
“Sir, this shall be!” But one believes it is.

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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