England To Germany In 1914

A poem by Thomas Hardy

"O England, may God punish thee!"
- Is it that Teuton genius flowers
Only to breathe malignity
Upon its friend of earlier hours?
- We have eaten your bread, you have eaten ours,
We have loved your burgs, your pines' green moan,
Fair Rhine-stream, and its storied towers;
Your shining souls of deathless dowers
Have won us as they were our own:

We have nursed no dreams to shed your blood,
We have matched your might not rancorously,
Save a flushed few whose blatant mood
You heard and marked as well as we
To tongue not in their country's key;
But yet you cry with face aflame,
"O England, may God punish thee!"
And foul in onward history,
And present sight, your ancient name.

Autumn 1914.

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