England

written by William Wilfred Campbell

England

— William Wilfred Campbell

ENGLAND, England, England,
Girdled by ocean and skies,
And the power of a world, and the heart of a race,
And a hope that never dies.

England, England, England,
Wherever a true heart beats,
Wherever the rivers of commerce flow,
Wherever the bugles of conquest blow,
Wherever the glories of liberty grow,
'Tis the name that the world repeats.

And ye, who dwell in the shadow
Of the century-sculptured piles,
Where sleep our century-honoured dead,
Whilst the great world thunders overhead,
And far out, miles on miles,
Beyond the smoke of the mighty town,
The blue Thames dimples and smiles;
Not yours alone the glory of old,
Of the splendid thousand years,
Of Britain's might and Britain's right
And the brunt of British spears.
Not yours alone, for the great world round,
Ready to dare and do,
Scot and Celt and Norman and Dane,
With the Northman's sinew and heart and brain,
And the Northman's courage for blessing or bane,
Are England's heroes too.

North and south and east and west,
Wherever their triumphs be,
Their glory goes home to the ocean-girt isle,
Where the heather blooms and the roses smile,
With the green isle under her lee.
And if ever the smoke of an alien gun
Should threaten her iron repose,
Shoulder to shoulder against the world,
Face to face with her foes,

Scot, and Celt and Saxon are one
Where the glory of England goes.

And we of the newer and vaster West,
Where the great war-banners are furled,
And commerce hurries her teeming hosts,
And the cannon are silent along our coasts,
Saxon and Gaul, Canadians claim
A part in the glory and pride and aim
Of the Empire that girdles the world.

England, England, England,
Wherever the daring heart
By Arctic floe or torrid strand
Thy heroes play their part;
For as long as conquest holds the earth,
Or commerce sweeps the sea,
By orient jungle or western plain
Will the Saxon spirit be:
And whatever the people that dwell beneath,
Or whatever the alien tongue,
Over the freedom and peace of the world
Is the flag of England flung,
Till the last great freedom is found,
And the last great truth be taught,
Till the last great deed be done,
And the last great battle is fought;
Till the last great fighter is slain in the last great fight,
And the war-wolf is dead in his den–
England, breeder of hope and valour and might,
Iron mother of men.

Yea, England, England, England,
Till honour and valour are dead,
Till the world's great cannons rust,
Till the world's great hopes are dust,
Till faith and freedom be fled,
Till wisdom and justice have passed
To sleep with those who sleep in the many-chambered vast,
Till glory and knowledge are charnelled dust in dust,
To all that is best in the world's unrest,

In heart and mind you are wed.
While out from the Indian jungle
To the far Canadian snows,
Over the East and over the West,
Over the worst and over the best,
The flag of the world to its winds unfurled,
The blood-red ensign blows.

About the poet


William Wilfred Campbell

William Wilfred Campbell was born 15 June 1860 in Newmarket, Upper Canada (present-day Ontario). There is some doubt as to the date and place of his birth. His father, Rev. Thomas Swainston Campbell, was an Anglican clergyman who had been assigned the task of setting up several frontier parishes in "Canada West", as Ontario was then called. Consequently, the family moved frequently. In 1871, the Campbells settled in Wiarton, Ontario, where Wilfred grew up, attending high school in nearby Owen Sound. The school later be renamed Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational Institute). Campbell would look back on his childhood with fondness. Campbell taught in Wiarton before enrolling in the University of Toronto's University College in 1880, Wycliffe College in 1882, and at the Episcopal Theological...

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