Honour of England! in what bosom stirs
Thy soul more quick than her’s?
Yet in her days . . . O greater grief, than when
In years of woe, the years of happiness
Flash o’er us,—to behold,—and no redress,—
Some deed of shame we cannot cure nor stay!
Our best, our man of men,
Martyr’d inch-meal by dull delay!
Ah, sacred, hidden grave!
Ah gallant comrade feet, love-wing’d to save,
Too late, too late!—But Thou, Whose counsels work unseen,
Spare us henceforth such pangs, spare England’s Queen
O much enduring, much revered!
Bring sun-dyed millions love more sweet than fame,
And happy isles that star the purple sea
Homage;—and children at the mother’s knee
With her’s unite thy name;
And faithful hearts, that throb ’neath palm and pine,
From East to West, are thine.
For as some pillar-star o’er sea and storm
Whole fleets to haven guides, so from that height
One great example points the path of Right,
And purifies the home; with gracious aid
Lifting the fallen form.
See Death by finer skill delay’d;
Kind hearts to wait on woe,
And feet of Love that in Christ’s footsteps go;
Wild wastes of life reclaim’d by Woman’s hand unseen:
All England bless’d with England’s Empress Queen.
And now, as one who through some
Has urged the fifty furrows of the grain,—
Look round with joy, and know thy care will yield
A thousandfold in its due day reveal’d,
The harvest laugh again:—
E’en now thy great crown’d ancestors on high
Watch with exultant eye
Thy hundred Englands o’er the broad earth sown,
And Arthur lives anew to hail his heir!
—O then for her and us we chant the prayer,—
Keep Thou this sea-girt citadel of the free
Safe ’neath her ancient throne,
Love-link’d in loyal unity;
Let eve’s calm after-glow
Arch all the heaven with Hope’s wide roseate bow:
Till in Time’s fulness Thou, Almighty Lord unseen,
With glory and life immortal crown the Queen.
Published (June, 1887) under sanction of the Delegates of the Clarendon Press, Oxford; and intended as an humble offering of loyalty and hearty good-wishes on the part of the University.
Old if this England be
The Ship at heart is sound,
And the fairest she and gallantest
That ever sail’d earth round!
And children’s children in the years
Far off will live to see
Her silver wings fly round the world,
Free heralds of the free!
While now on Him who long has bless’d
To bless her as of yore,
Once more we cry for England,
England once more!