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Eliza Cook (Элиза Кук)

The Englishman

THERE’S 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.

There’s a flag that waves o’er 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.

There’s 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 “I’m an Englishman.”

Eliza Cook's other poems:
  1. The Thames
  2. Galla Brae
  3. Loch Leven’s Gentle Stream
  4. Grey-Eyed Mabel
  5. Song of the Worm

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