Verse > Gerard Manley Hopkins > Poems
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Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89).  Poems.  1918.
 
59. ‘What shall I do for the land that bred me’
 
 
WHAT shall I do for the land that bred me,
Her homes and fields that folded and fed me?—
Be under her banner and live for her honour:
Under her banner I’ll live for her honour.
  CHORUS.  Under her banner live for her honour.        5
 
Not the pleasure, the pay, the plunder,
But country and flag, the flag I am under—
There is the shilling that finds me willing
To follow a banner and fight for honour.
  CH.  We follow her banner, we fight for her honour.        10
 
Call me England’s fame’s fond lover,
Her fame to keep, her fame to recover.
Spend me or end me what God shall send me,
But under her banner I live for her honour.
  CH.  Under her banner we march for her honour.        15
 
Where is the field I must play the man on?
O welcome there their steel or cannon.
Immortal beauty is death with duty,
If under her banner I fall for her honour.
  CH.  Under her banner we fall for her honour.        20
 
See Notes.
 

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