Martin Farquhar Tupper

(July 17, 1810 - November 1889 / London)

The New Home - Poem by Martin Farquhar Tupper

Pent the wynds and closes narrow,
Breathing pestilential air,
Crush'd beneath oppression's harrow,
Faint with famine, bow'd with care,-
Gaunt Affliction's sons and daughters!
Why so slow to hear the call
Which The Vice upon the waters
Preachers solemnly to all?

Hark! Old Ocean's tongue of thunder
Hoarsely calling bids you speed
To the shores he held asunder
Only for these times of need;
Now, upon his friendly surges
Ever, ever roaring Come,
All the sons of hope he urges
To a new, a richer home!

England and her sea-girt sisters
Pine for want in seeming wealth;
Though the gaudy surface glitters,
This is not the hue of health:
Oh! the honest labour trying
Vainly here to earn its bread,-
Oh! the willing workers dying,
Unemploy'd, untaught, unfed!

Thousand sights that melt to pity,-
Move to fear, or - tempt to scorn!
Wretched swarms in field and city,
Wherefore are these paupers born!-
Shall I tell you, heirs of pleasure?
Shall I teach you, sons of pain?
Unto both, each in his measure,
Stir I now this earnest strain.

Lo! to every human creature
Born upon this bounteous earth,
Speaks the God of grace and nature,
Speaks for plenty or for dearth:
Till the ground; if not, thou starvest;
Fear shall drive to duteous toil:
Till the ground; a golden harvest
Then shall wave on every soil!

And behold! the King All-glorious
Unto Britain tythes the world,-
Everywhere her crown victorious,
Everywhere her cross unfurl'd!
God hath given her distant regions,
Broad and rich; and store of ships;
God hath added homeborn legions,
Steep'd in trouble to the lips!

Join, then, in one holy tether
Those whom man hath put aside,
Those whom God would link together,
Earth and labour well-applied:
Ho! thou vast and wealthy nation,
Wing thy fleets to every place,
Fertilising all Creation
With the Anglo-Saxon race!

England's frank and sturdy bearing,
Scotland's judgment, true and tried,
Erin's headlong headstrong daring,
And the Welshman's honest pride,-
Send these forth, and tame the savage,
Sow his realms with British homes,
Where till now wild monsters ravage,
Or the wilder Bushman roams.

Let, as erst in Magna Graecia,
Nobles, sages, join the ranks;
And for vacant Austral-Asia
Leave for good these swarming banks;
Not as exiled,- but with honour,
Told in tale, and sung in song;
While the Queen,- God's blessing on her!-
Speeding this good work along.

Then the wilderness shall blossom,
And the desert, as the rose;
While dear Earth's maternal bosom
With abundance overflows:
Then shall Britain gladly number
Crowds of children, now her dread,
That her onward march encumber
With the living and - the dead!

Ay! for bitter is the contest
As a struggle, life for life,
Where the very meal thou wantest
Was for little ones and wife,-
Where they slowly pine and perish
That the father may be strong,
Some taskmaster's wealth to cherish,
By his labour, right or wrong!

Haste, then, all ye better natures,
Help in what must bless the World:
See, those cellar-crowded creatures
To Despair's own dungeon hurl'd;-
Send - or lead them o'er the waters
To the genial shores, that give
Britain's sacred sons and daughters
Man's great privilege - to Live!

There,- instead of scanty wages,
Grinding rent and parish tax,-
In the wood, unheard for ages,
Rings the cheerful freeman's axe;
Whilst in yonder cozy claring,
Home, sweet Home, rejoices life,
Full of thoughts and things endearing,
Merry babes and rosy wife.

There,- instead of festering alleys,
Noisome dirt, and gnawing dearth,-
Sunny hills and smiling valleys
Wait to yield the wealth of Earth!
All She asks is - human labour,
Healthy in the open air;
All she gives is - every neighbour
Wealthy, hale, and happy There!

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, September 23, 2010

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