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Poem by Eliza Cook


The Englishman


THERES a land that bears a world-known name,
  Though it is but a little spot;
I say tis first on the scroll of Fame,
  And who shall say it is not?
Of the deathless ones who shine and live
  In Arms, in Arts, or Song;
The brightest the whole wide world can give,
  To that little land belong.
Tis the star of earth, deny it who can;
The island home of an Englishman.

Theres a flag that waves oer every sea,
  No matter when or where:
And to treat that flag as aught but the free
  Is more than the strongest dare.
For the lion-spirits that tread the deck
  Have carried the palm of the brave;
And that flag may sink with a shot-torn wreck,
  But never float over a slave;
Its honour is stainless, deny it who can;
And this is the flag of an Englishman.

Theres a heart that leaps with burning glow,
  The wronged and the weak to defend;
And strikes as soon for a trampled foe,
  As it does for a soul-bound friend.
It nurtures a deep and honest love;
  It glows with faith and pride;
And yearns with the fondness of a dove,
  To the light of its own fireside.
Tis a rich, rough gem, deny it who can;
And this is the heart of an Englishman.

The Briton may traverse the pole or the zone,
  And boldly claim his right;
For he calls such a vast domain his own,
  That the sun never sets on his might.
Let the haughty stranger seek to know
  The place of his home and birth;
And a flush will pour from cheek to brow;
  While he tells his native earth.
For a glorious charter, deny it who can,
Is breathed in the words Im an Englishman.



Eliza Cook


Eliza Cook's other poems:
  1. Galla Brae
  2. The Thames
  3. Loch Levens Gentle Stream
  4. Grey-Eyed Mabel
  5. There's a Star in the West


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