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GREEN FIELDS OF ENGLAND
GREEN fields of England ! wheresoe'er
- ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH.
Fighting the Norman by Hastings bay,
While the acorns were falling one autumn day.
By tenor of conquest here I sit;
But he had not thought of the Saxon grit.
And burnt the homesteads from Trent to Tyne,
Eat up the corn and drank the wine,
But he had not measured the Saxon grit.
With his strong-hearted yeomanry ripe for the fray, Driving the arrow into the marrow
Of all the proud Normans who came in his way ; Scorning the fetter, fearless and free,
Winning by valor, or foiling by wit, Dear to our Saxon folk ever is he,
This merry old rogue with the Saxon grit. And Kett the tanner whipp'd out his knife,
And Watt the smith his hammer brought down, For ruth of the maid he loved better than life,
And by breaking a head, made a hole in the Crown.
From the Saxon heart rose a mighty roar,
“Our life shall not be by the King's permit; We will fight for the right, we want no more ;”
Then the Norman found out the Saxon grit.
For slow and sure as the oaks had grown
From the acorns falling that autumn day, So the Saxon manhood in thorpe and town
To a nobler stature grew alway; Winning by inches, holding by clinches,
Standing by law and the human right, Many times failing, never once quailing,
So the new day came out of the night.
Then rising afar in the Western sea,
A new world stood in the morn of the day, Ready to welcome the brave and free,
Who could wrench out the heart and march away From the narrow, contracted, dear old land,
Where the poor are held by a cruel bit, i To ampler spaces for heart and hand
And here was a chance for the Saxon grit. Steadily steering, eagerly peering,
Trusting in God your fathers came, Pilgrims and strangers, fronting all dangers,
Cool-headed Saxons, with hearts aflame. Bound by the letter, but free from the fetter,
And hiding their freedom in Holy Writ, They gave Deuteronomy hints in economy,
And made a new Moses of Saxon grit.
They whittled and waded through forest and fen,
Fearless as ever of what might befall; Pouring out life for the nurture of men,
In faith that by manhood the world wins all. Inventing baked beans and no end of machines;
Great with the rifle and great with the axe — Sending their notions over the oceans,
To fill empty stomachs and straighten bent backs.
Swift to take chances that end in the dollar,
Yet open of hand when the dollar is made, Maintaining the meetin', exalting the scholar,
But a little too anxious about a good trade; This is young Jonathan, son of old John,
Positive, peaceable, firm in the right, Saxon men all of us, may we be one,
Steady for freedom, and strong in her might.
Then, slow and sure, as the oaks have grown
From the acorns that fell on that autumn day, So this new manhood in city and town,
To a nobler stature will grow alway: Winning by inches, holding by clinches,
Slow to contention, and slower to quit, Now and then failing, never once quailing, Let us thank God for the Saxon grit.
THE PATRIOT'S DEATH
Come to the mother, when she feels,
Come when the blessèd seals
With banquet song and dance and wine –
Of agony, are thine.
But to the hero, when his sword
Has won the battle for the free,
The thanks of millions yet to be.
Come in her crowning hour — and then
Of sky and stars to prison'd men;
To the world-seeking Genoese,
FITZ-GREENE HALLECK (Marco Bozzaris).
WESTWARD THE COURSE OF EMPIRE
Barren of every glorious theme,
Producing subjects worthy fame;
And virgin earth such scenes ensue,
And fancied beauties by the true :
Where nature guides and virtue rules,
The pedantry of courts and schools :
The rise of empire and of arts,
The wisest heads and noblest hearts.
Such as she bred when fresh and young,
By future poets shall be sung.
The first four acts already past,
That glinted in the east.
His heralds thus addressed :-
Or to victorie.
See approach proud Edward's power
Chains and slaverie !
Let him turn and flee !
Let him follow me!
But they shall be free!
Unfurl'd her standard to the air,
And set the stars of glory there!
Who rear'st aloft thy regal form,
When strive the warriors of the storm,
To guard the banner of the free,
The harbingers of victory!