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Poems About England

Table of Contents

  1. At Stonehenge by Katharine Lee Bates
  2. The Homes of England by Felicia Hemans
  3. The Glory of the Garden by Rudyard Kipling
  4. When Spring Comes Back To England by Alfred Noyes
  5. England and America in 1782 by Alfred Tennyson

  1. At Stonehenge

    by Katharine Lee Bates

    Grim stones whose gray lips keep your secret well,
    Our hands that touch you touch an ancient terror,
    An ancient woe, colossal citadel
    Of some fierce faith, some heaven-affronting error.

    Rude-built, as if young Titans on this wold
    Once played with ponderous blocks a striding giant
    Had brought from oversea, till child more bold
    Tumbled their temple down with foot defiant.

    Upon your fatal altar Redbreast combs
    A fluttering plume, and flocks of eager swallows
    Dip fearlessly to choose their April homes
    Amid your crevices and storm-beat hollows.

    Even so in elemental mysteries,
    Portentous, vast, august, uncomprehended,
    Do we dispose our little lives for ease,
    By their unconscious courtesies befriended.

  2. The Homes of England

    by Felicia Hemans

    The stately homes of England
    How beautiful they stand!
    Amidst their tall ancestral trees,
    O'er all the pleasant land!
    The deer across their green sward bound
    Through shade and sunny gleam,
    And the swan glides past them with the sound
    Of some rejoicing stream.

    The merry homes of England!
    Around their hearths by night,
    What gladsome looks of household love
    Meet in the ruddy light!
    There woman's voice flows forth in song,
    Or childhood's tale is told;
    Or lips move tunefully along
    Some glorious page of old.

    The blessed Homes of England!
    How softly on their bowers
    Is laid the holy quietness
    That breathes from Sabbath-hours!
    Solemn, yet sweet, the church-bell's chime
    Floats through their woods at morn;
    All other sounds, in that still time,
    Of breeze and leaf are born.

    The cottage homes of England!
    By thousands on her plains,
    They are smiling o'er the silv'ry brook,
    And round the hamlet-fanes;
    Through glowing orchards forth they peep,
    Each from its nook of leaves;
    And fearless there the lowly sleep,
    As the bird beneath their eaves.

    The free fair homes of England!
    Long, long in hut and hall
    May hearts of native proof be rear'd
    To guard each hallow'd wall.
    And green for ever be the groves,
    And bright the flow'ry sod,
    Where first the child's glad spirit loves
    Its country and its God.

  3. The Glory of the Garden

    by Rudyard Kipling

    Our England is a garden that is full of stately views,
    Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
    With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
    But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.

    For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
    You'll find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all
    The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dung-pits and the tanks,
    The rollers, carts, and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.

    And there you'll see the gardeners, the men and 'prentice boys
    Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise;
    For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
    The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.

    And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
    And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows;
    But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
    For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

    Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
    By singing, "Oh, how beautiful," and sitting in the shade
    While better men than we go out and start their working lives
    At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.

    There's not a pair of legs so thin, there's not a head so thick,
    There's not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick
    But it can find some needful job that's crying to be done,
    For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.

    Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
    If it's only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
    And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
    You will find yourself a partner In the Glory of the Garden.

    Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
    That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,
    So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
    For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!
    And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away!

  4. When Spring Comes Back To England

    by Alfred Noyes

    When Spring comes back to England
    And crowns her brows with May,
    Round the merry moonlit world
    She goes the greenwood way:
    She throws a rose to Italy,
    A fleur-de-lys to France;
    But round her regal morris-ring
    The seas of England dance.

    When Spring comes back to England
    And dons her robe of green,
    There's many a nation garlanded
    But England is the Queen;
    She's Queen, she's Queen of all the world
    Beneath the laughing sky,
    For the nations go a-Maying
    When they hear the New Year cry—

    "Come over the water to England,
    My old love, my new love,
    Come over the water to England,
    In showers of flowery rain;
    Come over the water to England,
    April, my true love;
    And tell the heart of England
    The Spring is here again!"

  5. England and America in 1782

    by Alfred Tennyson

    O thou, that sendest out the man
    To rule by land and sea,
    Strong mother of a Lion-line,
    Be proud of those strong sons of thine
    Who wrench’d their rights from thee!

    What wonder if in noble heat
    Those men thine arms withstood,
    Retaught the lesson thou hadst taught,
    And in thy spirit with thee fought—
    Who sprang from English blood!

    But thou rejoice with liberal joy,
    Lift up thy rocky face,
    And shatter, when the storms are black,
    In many a streaming torrent back,
    The seas that shock thy base!

    Whatever harmonies of law
    The growing world assume,
    Thy work is thine—the single note
    From that deep chord which Hampden smote
    Will vibrate to the doom.

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