Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
 
I. Patriotism
England
William Cowper (1731–1800)
 
From “The Timepiece”: “The Task,” Book. II.

ENGLAND, with all thy faults, I love thee still,—
My country! and, while yet a nook is left
Where English minds and manners may be found,
Shall be constrained to love thee. Though thy clime
Be fickle, and thy year most part deformed        5
With dripping rains, or withered by a frost,
I would not yet exchange thy sullen skies,
And fields without a flower, for warmer France
With all her vines; nor for Ausonia’s groves
Of golden fruitage and her myrtle bowers.        10
To shake thy senate, and from height sublime
Of patriot eloquence to flash down fire
Upon thy foes, was never meant my task:
But I can feel thy fortunes, and partake
Thy joys and sorrows with as true a heart        15
As any thunderer there. And I can feel
Thy follies too; and with a just disdain
Frown at effeminates whose very looks
Reflect dishonor on the land I love.
How, in the name of soldiership and sense,        20
Should England prosper, when such things, as smooth
And tender as a girl, all essenced o’er
With odors, and as profligate as sweet,
Who sell their laurel for a myrtle wreath,
And love when they should fight,—when such as these        25
Presume to lay their hand upon the ark
Of her magnificent and awful cause?
Time was when it was praise and boast enough
In every clime, and travel where we might,
That we were born her children. Praise enough        30
To fill the ambition of a private man,
That Chatham’s language was his mother tongue,
And Wolfe’s great name compatriot with his own.
 
 
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors