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A Song of the English

by Rudyard Kipling, 1919


Fair is our lot—O goodly is our heritage!
(Humble ye, my people, and be fearful in your mirth!)
  For the Lord our God Most High
  He hath made the deep as dry,
He hath smote for us a pathway to the ends of all the Earth!

Yea, though we sinned, and our rulers went from righteousnessDeep in all dishonour though we stained our garments’ hem,
  Oh be ye not dismayed,
  Though we stumbled and we strayed,
We were led by evil counsellors—the Lord shall deal with them!

Hold ye the Faith—the Faith our Fathers sealed us;
Whoring not with visions—overwise and overstale.
  Except ye pay the Lord
  Single heart and single sword,
Of your children in their bondage He shall ask them treble-tale!

Keep ye the Law—be swift in all obedienceClear the land of evil, drive the road and bridge the ford.
  Make ye sure to each his own
  That he reap where he hath sown;
By the peace among Our peoples let men know we serve the Lord!
*        *        *        *        *

Hear now a song—a song of broken interludesA song of little cunning; of a singer nothing worth.
  Through the naked words and mean
  May ye see the truth between,
As the singer knew and touched it in the ends of all the Earth!

Published in Rudyard Kipling's Verse: Inclusive Edition, 1885-1918

Any corrections or public domain poems I should have here? Email me at poems (at) this domain.