The Union

A poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne

I
Three in one, but one in three,
God, who girt her with the sea,
Bade our Commonweal to be:
Nought, if now not one.
Though fraud and fear would sever
The bond assured for ever,
Their shameful strength shall never
Undo what heaven has done.

II
South and North and West and East
Watch the ravens flock to feast,
Dense as round some death-struck beast,
Black as night is black.
Stand fast as faith together
In stress of treacherous weather
When hounds and wolves break tether
And Treason guides the pack.

III
Lovelier than thy seas are strong,
Glorious Ireland, sword and song
Gird and crown thee: none may wrong,
Save thy sons alone.
The sea that laughs around us
Hath sundered not but bound us:
The sun's first rising found us
Throned on its equal throne.

IV
North and South and East and West,
All true hearts that wish thee best
Beat one tune and own one quest,
Staunch and sure as steel.
God guard from dark disunion
Our threefold State's communion,
God save the loyal Union,
The royal Commonweal!

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