In Praise Of England - Poem by Alfred Austin
From tangled brake and trellised bower
Bring every bud that blows,
But never will you find the flower
To match an English rose.
It blooms with more than city grace,
Though rustic and apart;
It has a smile upon its face,
And a dewdrop in its heart.
Though wide the goodly world around
Your fancy may have strayed,
Where was the woman ever found
To match an English maid?
At work she smiles, through play she sings,
She doubts not nor denies;
She'll cling to you as woodbine clings,
And love you till she dies.
If you would put it to the proof,
Then round the zodiac roam;
But never will you find the roof
To match an English home.
You hear the sound of children's feet
Still pattering on the stair:
'Tis made by loving labour sweet,
And sanctified by prayer.
Go traverse tracts sublime or sweet,
Snow-peak or scorched ravine,
But where will you the landscape meet
To match an English scene?
The hamlet hallowed by its spire,
The wildwood fresh with flowers,
Garden and croft and thorp and byre
Gleaming through silvery showers.
Across the wave, along the wind,
Flutter and plough your way,
But where will you a Sceptre find
To match the English Sway?
Its conscience holds the world in awe
With blessing or with ban;
Its Freedom guards the Reign of Law,
And majesty of Man!
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