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GREEN FIELDS OF ENGLAND
Sweet eyes in England, I must flee
Dear home in England, safe and fast,
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.
He took the land, and he took the men,
Made the freemen serfs by a stroke of the pen,
And said to the maiden, pure and fair,
Your Saxon churl may rot in his lair;"
To the merry greenwood went bold Robin Hood,
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,
For ruth of the maid he loved better than life,
From the Saxon heart rose a mighty roar,
We will fight for the right, we want no more ;"
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, 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 bridal chamber, Death,
Come to the mother, when she feels,
Come when the blessed 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,
Blew o'er the Haytian seas.
Fitz-greene Halleck (Marco Bozzaris). WESTWARD THE COURSE OF EMPIRE
The Muse, disgusted at an age and clime
Barren of every glorious theme,
Producing subjects worthy fame;
In happy climes, where from the genial sun
And virgin earth such scenes ensue,
And fancied beauties by the true:
In happy climes the seat of innocence,
Where men shall not impose, for truth and sense,
There shall be sung another golden age,
The rise of empire and of arts,
The wisest heads and noblest hearts.
Not such as Europe breeds in her decay;
Such as she bred when fresh and young, When heavenly flame did animate her clay,
By future poets shall be sung.
Westward the course of empire takes its way;
The first four acts already past,
Time's noblest offspring is the last.
At Bannockburn the English lay —
But soon the sun broke through the heath
Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
Now's the day, and now's the hour,
See approach proud Edward's power —
Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha for Scotland's king and law
By Oppression's woes and pains 1
Lay the proud usurpers low!
When Freedom, from her mountain height,
Unfurl'd her standard to the air,
And set the stars of glory there!
Majestic monarch of the cloud!
Who rear'st aloft thy regal form, To hear the tempest trumping loud, And see the lightning lances driven,
When strive the warriors of the storm,
To guard the banner of the free,
The harbingers of victory!