Saturday, September 03, 2005

But Thou Rejoice With Liberal Joy!

England and America in 1782

O thou that sendest out the man
To rule by land and sea,
Strong mother of a Lion-line,
Be proud of those strong sons of thine
Who wrench’d their rights from thee!
What wonder if in noble heat
Those men thine arms withstood,
Retaught the lesson thou hadst taught,
And in thy spirit with thee fought–
Who sprang from English blood!

But thou rejoice with liberal joy,
Lift up thy rocky face,
And shatter, when the storms are black,
In many a streaming torrent back,
The seas that shock thy base!

Whatever harmonies of law
The growing world assume,
Thy work is thine–the single note
From that deep chord which Hampden smote
Will vibrate to the doom.

-Alfred Lord Tennyson

The events of the last week brought this poem to my mind.

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