Thursday, 25 April 2013

On Nationalism


In scattered greens and browns beyond,
Though winding veins of twisted lanes,
In vaulted barns by planate ponds,
They lie and squirm in unjust pain,
For worlds long gone
And times long passed,
When God and sun on empire shone,
But hear them cry: agog, aghast
As if there’s rights within their blood,
That no other blood should hold,
A nobility that in the English stood,
Whilst in other hearts it falls and folds,
As if a birth in lines on maps,
Makes a spirit yet more bold.

Absurd, vulgar, vain and fraught:
there’s no such thing as Englishmen,
Nor any weight does this import,
Beasts are but beasts and men but men.

And though it’s earth, which holds no bond,
As vale is vale and hill is hill,
There’s colours there of which I’m fond,
This is yet my country still.