Thomas Bailey Aldrich
England - Poem by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
While men pay reverence to mighty things,
They must revere thee, thou blue-cinctured isle
Of England-not to-day, but this long while
In front of nations, Mother of great kings,
Soldiers, and poets. Round thee the sea flings
His steel-bright arm, and shields thee from the guile
And hurt of France. Secure, with august smile,
Thou sittest, and the East its tribute brings.
Some say thy old-time power is on the wane,
Thy moon of grandeur, filled, contracts at length-
They see it darkening down from less to less.
Let but a hostile hand make threat again,
And they shall see thee in thy ancient strength,
Each iron sinew quivering, lioness!
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