Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1651. England
 
By Grace Ellery Channing-Stetson
 
 
WHO comes to England not to learn
  The love for her his fathers bore,
Breathing her air, can still return
  No kindlier than he was before.
  In vain, for him, from shore to shore        5
Those fathers strewed an alien strand
  With the loved names that evermore
Are native to our ear and land.
 
Who sees the English elm-trees fling
  Long shadows where his footsteps pass,        10
Or marks the crocuses that spring
  Sets starlike in the English grass,
  And sees not, as within a glass,
New England’s loved reflection rise,—
  Mists darker and more dense, alas!        15
Than England’s fogs are in his eyes.
 
And who can walk by English streams,
  Through sunny meadows gently led,
Nor feel, as one who lives in dreams,
  The wound with which his fathers bled,—        20
  The homesick tears which must, unshed,
Have dimmed the brave, unfaltering eyes
  That saw New England’s elms outspread
Green branches to her loftier skies?
 
How dear to exiled hearts the sound        25
  Of little brooks that run and sing!
How dear, in scanty garden ground,
  The crocus calling back the spring
  To English hearts remembering!
How dear that aching memory        30
  Of cuckoo cry and lark’s light wing!
And for their sake how dear to me!
 
Who owns not how, so often tried,
  The bond all trial hath withstood;
The leaping pulse, the racial pride        35
  In more than common brotherhood;
  Nor feels his kinship like a flood
Rise blotting every dissonant trace,—
  He is not of the ancient blood!
He is not of the Island race!        40
 

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