England by Myra Morris

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England is mine, and I am England's own!  
All that is best within me lives for her alone. 
That which is base and vile I spurn from me 
Lest she with her unsleeping eyes should see,
And me condemn. She bore me in her womb
Where wild winds blew; and through the storm-lashed gloom  
      Came ocean's boom.
And I was wove a living thread here strung
      In the vast loom.
She was my mother mighty-voiced. I hung  
Upon her breasts and greedy-mouthed did drink   
Her noble sustenance. And on the brink
Of secret things I stood, when sweet and high 
Her slumber songs lulled me to sleep, and I
Heard through their mounting cadence, wild and free,
The low andante beating of a sea.

England is mine, and I am England's own!    
I am a singing harp, and hers the hand alone
That plays the strings. Without, I am a thing, 
Dead, dumb, inanimate. So shall I sing!   
Here at the door-way of her room I keep
A ceaseless watch, untouched by straying sleep --
      Dream shadowed, deep.
A living flame of fire from out its sheath
      My sword shall leap,
If I should hear her proud soul moan beneath
A weight of woe. My voice shall beat the stars
And thund'ring shake the might of Heaven's bars 
Till earth's dark caverns echo with the cry: -- 
"Here, mother, mighty-souled, O England, I     
Am here to serve! Born of the wind and sea 
I give thee back the life thou gav'st to me!"  

First published in The Argus, 12 May 1917;
and later in
England and Other Verses by Myra Morris, 1918.

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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