Enclos’d within rough Neptune’s foaming breast
Puissant stands old England’s peaceful crest,
Like Egypt’s relics, which so firmly stand,
To guide the stranger in that foreign land.
To point the path which leads from out the goal,
Which ages form’d to tease the weary soul.
Thus England, in her present sovereign state,
Marks out the path which leads from renown’d fate,
And proves to Europe, in a joyful tone,
That peace surrounds her all-majestic throne;
While commerce o’er her free, and native seas
Spreads out its wings before the changing breeze,
To scatter to all nations far and wide
The spoils of England’s industry and pride,
And bind in one, by freedom’s welcome robe,
The distant nations of this earthly globe.
Oh England! empress of the mighty deep,
Where strength and valour both in one do sleep,
Where love and beauty unite hand in hand
To spread their blessings o’er thy freeborn strand,
Resound thy trumpet o’er the surging wave
To wrench the shackles from the fetter’d slave,
And bid that man revenge the slavish might –
To stand – to conquer – or to die for the right.
May heaven protect thee in thy worthy cause,
Which binds thy people to thy noble laws,
And bid that blessings o’er thy land shall flow
To ease thy sorrow and suppress thy woe.
Oh! could those nations which have fall’n to nought
Whose wealth is buried, and whose pow’r is bought,
Have stood to cast their eager eyes on thee,
To crush the peaceful and oppress the free.
Could Babylon shudder at thy mighty call?
Could Egypt tremble? or could Persia fall
In reverence at thy feet? Mighty realm!
Heathenism thy power can ne’er o’erwhelm.
While truth shines brightly o’er thy princely throne,
And peace for ever takes thee as her own;
While love entwines thee in thy sea-girt shore,
Till time its flight shall quell and be no more.


Author:Amos Wilson

Publication:Bury Guardian

Published in:Bury


Keywords:Nationalism, Slavery, War


This patriotic poem, written in the small Lancashire town of Radcliffe near Bury, trumpets British imperial endeavour and presents it as peaceful, generous, and beneficial to other nations. Although it does not explicitly mention America, whose Civil War was yet to end, the repeated valorisation of ‘peace’ and ‘freedom’ may be veiled commentary on transatlantic issues. However, the poem avoid the responsibility of specific address by couching itself in such metaphorical terms. – SR