Prologue To Hawthorn And Lavender

A poem by William Ernest Henley

These to the glory and praise of the green land
That bred my women, and that holds my dead,
ENGLAND, and with her the strong broods that stand
Wherever her fighting lines are thrust or spread!
They call us proud? - Look at our English Rose!
Shedders of blood? - Where hath our own been spared?
Shopkeepers? - Our accompt the high GOD knows.
Close? - In our bounty half the world hath shared.
They hate us, and they envy? Envy and hate
Should drive them to the PIT'S edge? - Be it so!
That race is damned which misesteems its fate;
And this, in GOD'S good time, they all shall know,
And know you too, you good green ENGLAND, then -
Mother of mothering girls and governing men!

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