The Cities are full of pride,Challenging each to each—This from her mountain-side,That from her burthened beach. They count their ships full tale—Their corn and oil and wine,Derrick and loom and bale,And rampart's gun-flecked line;City by city they hail:"Hast aught to match with mine?" And the men that breed from themThey traffic up and down,But cling to their cities' hemAs a child to the mother's gown. When they talk with the stranger bands,Dazed and newly alone;When they walk in the stranger lands,By roaring streets unknown;Blessing her where she standsFor strength above their own. (On high to hold her fameThat stands all fame beyond,By oath to back the same,Most faithful-foolish-fond;Making her mere-breathed nameTheir bond upon their bond.) So thank I God my birthFell not in isles aside—Waste headlands of the earth,Or warring tribes untried—But that she lent me worthAnd gave me right to pride. Surely in toil or frayUnder an alien sky,Comfort it is to say:"Of no mean city am I." (Neither by service nor feeCome I to mine estate—Mother of Cities to me,For I was born in her gate,Between the palms and the sea,Where the world-end steamers wait.) Now for this debt I owe,And for her far-borne cheerMust I make haste and goWith tribute to her pier. And she shall touch and remitAfter the use of kings(Orderly, ancient, fit)My deep-sea plunderings,And purchase in all lands.And this we do for a signHer power is over mine,And mine I hold at her hands.
A SONG OF THE ENGLISH. Fair is our lot—O goodly is our heritage!(Humble ye, my people, and be fearful in your mirth!)For the Lord our God Most HighHe hath made the deep as dry,He hath smote for us a pathway to the ends of all the Earth! Yea, though we sinned—and our rulers went from righteousness—Deep in all dishonour though we stained our garments' hem.Oh be ye not dismayed,Though we stumbled and we strayed,We were led by evil counsellors—the Lord shall deal with them. Hold ye the Faith—the Faith our Fathers sealèd us;Whoring not with visions—overwise and overstale.Except ye pay the LordSingle heart and single sword,Of your children in their bondage shall He ask them treble-tale. Keep ye the Law—be swift in all obedience.Clear the land of evil, drive the road and bridge the ford.Make ye sure to each his ownThat he reap what he hath sown;By the peace among Our peoples let men know we serve the Lord.
Hear now a song—a song of broken interludes—A song of little cunning; of a singer nothing worth.Through the naked words and meanMay ye see the truth betweenAs the singer knew and touched it in the ends of all the Earth! The Coastwise Lights. Our brows are wreathed with spindrift and the weed is on our knees;Our loins are battered 'neath us by the swinging, smoking seas.From reef and rock and skerry—over headland, ness and voe—The Coastwise Lights of England watch the ships of England go...!