Cicely Fox Smith

(1 February 1882 – 8 April 1954 / Lymm, Cheshire)

The Word Of The English - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Hearken, hearken, hearken!
Give ear, O ye nations, from afar
To the voice of the children of the Lion,
As they gather from the world's end to the war,
O'er the seas and the desert and the mountains,
From the rising to the setting of the sun,
Runs the sound of the watchword of the English:
'We are brothers - we are Britons - we are one!'

For they hear o'er the seas the word of battle
And their hearts leap within them for the fray,
And they send forth their mankind to the combat, -
To stand by their fellows far away.
For they say: 'Shall our kindred do their duty
And their brothers hang unheeding from the fight?
Shall we dwell in our safety here ignobly,
While they do battle yonder for the right?'

'They have hewed out their fortunes, e'en as we have;
Their souls are of the stuff that England breeds;
Their lips are tuned to our own Northern language:
Their hearts have throbbed to hear of English deeds.
Shall we idly stand aside and watch the battle,
And see the work of English strength undone?
Nay! tho' far-rolling leagues of sea divide us,
We are brothers - we are Britons - we are one!'

Hearken, hearken, hearken!
Give ear, O ye nations, to the call:
We have sworn by the ancient fame of England,
Who would trample down the one, must conquer all.
From the Northmost to the Southmost of the ocean,
From the rising to the setting of the sun,
Goes the word of the English to the English:
'By the love of the English for the English,
On the faith of the English to the English,
We are brothers - we are Britons - we are one!'


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010



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