Opening Of The Indian And Colonial Exhibition By The Queen

A poem by Alfred Tennyson

WRITTEN AT THE REQUEST OF THE
PRINCE OF WALES

I.

Welcome, welcome with one voice!
In your welfare we rejoice,
Sons and brothers that have sent,
From isle and cape and continent,
Produce of your field and flood,
Mount and mine, and primal wood;
Works of subtle brain and hand,
And splendors of the morning land,
Gifts from every British zone;
Britons, hold your own!


II.

May we find, as ages run,
The mother featured in the son:
And may yours for ever be
That old strength and constancy
Which has made your fathers great
In our ancient island State,
And wherever her flag fly,
Glorying between sea and sky,
Makes the might of Britain known;
Britons, hold your own!


III.

Britain fought her sons of yore–
Britain fail’d; and never more,
Careless of our growing kin,
Shall we sin our father’s sin,
Men that in a narrower day–
Unprophetic rulers they–
Drove from out the mother’s nest
That young eagle of the West
To forage for herself alone;
Britons, hold your own!


IV.

Sharers of our glorious past,
Brothers, must we part at last?
Shall we not thro’ good and ill
Cleave to one another still?
Britain’s myriad voices call,
‘Sons, be welded each and all
Into one imperial whole,
One with Britain, heart and soul!
One life, one flag, one fleet, one throne!’
Britons, hold your own!

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