The Visions of England eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 180 pages of information about The Visions of England.

On that deep soil great Rome was sown;
Our England her foundations laid:—­
Hence, while the nations, change-dismay’d,
To tyrant or to quack repair,
A healthier heart we own,
And the plant Man grows stronger than elsewhere.

Should changeful commerce shun the shore,
And newer, mightier races meet
To push us from our empire-seat,
England will round her call her own,
And as in days of yore
The sea-girt Isle be Freedom’s central throne.

Freedom, fair daughter-wife of Law;
One bright face on the future cast,
One reverent fix’d upon the past,
And that for Hope, for Wisdom this:—­
While counsels wild and raw
Fly those keen eyes, and leave the land to bliss:—­

Dear land, where new is one with old: 
Land of green hillside and of plain,
Gray tower and grange and tree-fringed lane,
Red crag and silver streamlet sweet,
Wild wood and ruin bold,
And this repose of beauty at my feet:—­

Fair Vale, for summer day-dreams high,
For reverie in solitude
Fashion’d in Nature’s finest mood;
Or, sweeter yet, for fond excess
Of glee, and vivid cry,
Whilst happy children find more happiness

Ranging the brambled hollows free
For purple feast;—­till, light as Hope,
The little footsteps scale the slope;
And from the highest height we view
Our island-girdling sea
Bar the green valley with a wall of blue.

The poets whose landscape-pictures are here contrasted with English scenery, are Homer, Pindar, Sophocles, Theocritus, and Vergil.



Thrice fortunate he
Who, in the palace born, has early learn’d
The lore of sweet simplicity: 
From smiling gold his eyes inviolate turn’d,
Turn’d unreturning:—­Who the people’s cause,
The sovereign-levelling laws,

Above the throne,
—­He made for them, not they for him,—­has set;
Life-lavish for his land alone,
Whether she crown with gratitude, or forget:—­
He, who in courts beneath the purple weight
Of precedence moves sedate,

By all that glare
Of needful pageantry less stirr’d than still’d,
Bringing a waft of natural air
Through halls with pomp and flattering incense fill’d;
And in the central heart’s calm secret, waits
The closure of the gates,

The music mute,
The darkling lamps, the festal tables clear:—­
Then,—­glad as one who from pursuit
Breathes safe, and lets himself himself appear,—­
Turns to the fireside jest, the laughing eyes,
The love without disguise,—­

On home alone,
The loyal partnership of man with wife,
Building a throne beyond the throne;
All happiness in that common household life
By peasant shared with prince,—­when toil and health,
True parents of true wealth,

To its fair close
Round the long day, and all are in the nest,
And care relaxes to repose,
And the blithe restless nursery lulls to rest;
Prayer at the mother’s knee; and on their beds
We kiss the shining heads!

Project Gutenberg
The Visions of England from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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