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England, My England

William Ernest Henley 1849 (Gloucester) – 1903 (Woking)

WHAT have I done for you,
  England, my England?
What is there I would not do,
  England, my own?
With your glorious eyes austere,
As the Lord were walking near,
Whispering terrible things and dear
  As the Song on your bugles blown,
  England--
  Round the world on your bugles blown!

Where shall the watchful sun,
  England, my England,
Match the master-work you've done,
  England, my own?
When shall he rejoice agen
Such a breed of mighty men
As come forward, one to ten,
  To the Song on your bugles blown,
  England--
  Down the years on your bugles blown?

Ever the faith endures,
  England, my England:--
'Take and break us: we are yours,
  England, my own!
Life is good, and joy runs high
Between English earth and sky:
Death is death; but we shall die
  To the Song on your bugles blown,
  England--
  To the stars on your bugles blown!'

They call you proud and hard,
  England, my England:
You with worlds to watch and ward,
  England, my own!
You whose mail'd hand keeps the keys
Of such teeming destinies,
You could know nor dread nor ease
  Were the Song on your bugles blown,
  England,
  Round the Pit on your bugles blown!

Mother of Ships whose might,
  England, my England,
Is the fierce old Sea's delight,
  England, my own,
Chosen daughter of the Lord,
Spouse-in-Chief of the ancient Sword,
There 's the menace of the Word
  In the Song on your bugles blown,
  England--
  Out of heaven on your bugles blown!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:16 min read
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William Ernest Henley

William Ernest Henley was an English poet, critic and editor, best remembered for his 1875 poem "Invictus". more…

All William Ernest Henley poems | William Ernest Henley Books

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