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Poem by Francis Turner Palgrave


England Once More


Old if this England be
The Ship at heart is sound,
And the fairest she and gallantest
That ever sail'd earth round!
And children's children in the years
Far off will live to see
Her silver wings fly round the world,
Free heralds of the free!
  While now on Him who long has bless'd
  To bless her as of yore,
  Once more we cry for England,
      England once more!

They are firm and fine, the masts;
And the keel is straight and true;
Her ancient cross of glory
Rides burning through the blue:--
And that red sign o'er all the seas
The nations fear and know,
And the strong and stubborn hero-souls
That underneath it go:--
  While now on Him who long has bless'd
  To bless her as of yore,
  Once more we cry for England,
      England once more!

Prophets of dread and shame,
There is no place for you,
Weak-kneed and craven-breasted,
Amongst this English crew!
Bluff hearts that cannot learn to yield,
But as the waves run high,
And they can almost touch the night,
Behind it see the sky.
  While now on Him who long has bless'd
  To bless her as of yore,
  Once more we cry for England,
      England once more!

As Past in Present hid,
As old transfused to new,
Through change she lives unchanging,
To self and glory true;
From Alfred's and from Edward's day
Who still has kept the seas,
To him who on his death-morn spoke
Her watchword on the breeze!
  While now on Him who long has bless'd
  To bless her as of yore,
  Once more we cry for England,
      England once more!

What blasts from East and North,
What storms that swept the land
Have borne her from her bearings
Since Caesar seized the strand!
Yet that strong loyal heart through all
Has steer'd her sage and free,
--Hope's armour'd Ark in glooming years,
And whole world's sanctuary!
  While now on Him who long has bless'd
  To bless her as of yore,
  Once more we cry for England,
      England once more!

Old keel, old heart of oak,
Though round thee roar and chafe
All storms of life, thy helmsman
Shall make the haven safe!
Then with Honour at the head, and Faith,
And Peace along the wake,
Law blazon'd fair on Freedom's flag,
Thy stately voyage take:--
  While now on Him who long has bless'd
  To bless Thee as of yore,
  Once more we cry for England,
      England once more!



Francis Turner Palgrave


Francis Turner Palgrave's other poems:
  1. A Home in the Palace
  2. Alfred The Great
  3. Blenheim
  4. In the Valley of the Grande Chartreuse
  5. Elizabeth at Tilbury


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