Through the endless summer evenings, on the lineless,
Through the yelling Channel tempest when the siren hoots and roars—
By day the dipping house-flag and by night the rocket’s trail—
As the sheep that graze behind us so we know them where they hail.
We bridge across the dark, and bid the helmsman have
The flash that wheeling inland wakes his sleeping wife to prayer;
From our vexed eyries, head to gale, we bind in burning chains
The lover from the sea-rim drawn—his love in English lanes.
We greet the clippers wing-and-wing that race the
We warn the crawling cargo tanks of Bremen, Leith, and Hull;
To each and all our equal lamp at peril of the sea—
The white wall-sided war-ships or the whalers of Dundee!
Come up, come in from Eastward, from the guard-ports
of the Morn!
Beat up, beat in from Southerly, O gipsies of the Horn!
Swift shuttles of an Empire’s loom that weave us, main to main,
The Coastwise Lights of England give you welcome back again!
Go, get you gone up-Channel with the sea-crust on
Go, get you into London with the burden of your freights!
Haste, for they talk of Empire there, and say, if any seek,
The Lights of England sent you and by silence shall ye speak.
THE ENGLISH FLAG
Above the portico a flag-staff, bearing the Union Jack, remained fluttering in the flames for some time, but ultimately when it fell the crowds rent the air with shouts, and seemed to see significance in the incident.—DAILY PAPERS.
Winds of the World, give answer! They are whimpering
to and fro—
And what should they know of England who only England know?—
The poor little street-bred people that vapour and fume and brag,
They are lifting their heads in the stillness to yelp at the English
Must we borrow a clout from the Boer—to
plaster anew with dirt?
An Irish liar’s bandage, or an English coward’s shirt?
We may not speak of England; her Flag’s to sell or share.
What is the Flag of England? Winds of the World, declare!
The North Wind blew:—’From Bergen
my steel-shod vanguards go;
I chase your lazy whalers home from the Disko floe;
By the great North Lights above me I work the will of God,
And the liner splits on the ice-field or the Dogger fills with cod.
’I barred my gates with iron, I shuttered my
doors with flame,
Because to force my ramparts your nutshell navies came;
I took the sun from their presence, I cut them down with my blast,
And they died, but the Flag of England blew free ere the spirit
’The lean white bear hath seen it in the long,
long Arctic night,
The musk-ox knows the standard that flouts the Northern Light:
What is the Flag of England? Ye have but my bergs to dare,
Ye have but my drifts to conquer. Go forth, for it is there!’