Britian’s Cause

The eternal all--sire from his throne, our isle
Regarding; these Imperial shores, the while
Earth's orb rolls round, shewn, eminent in his eye,
World--blessing, thus words forth his Deity:

Let faith her rites, her creeds, to Israel trace
Whose wise belief, God one, his destined place
Hallows. Let flow from Graecia's subtile race
That trains man's mind to know life's good supreme,
Earth's lore, earth's art; owe Christendom which draws
From Rome its states, to Rome its rights; its laws
Of peace; of war; and justice sacred beam.
Prize brighter, Britain, thine than any sun's proud gleam;
The freedom of mankind be Britain's cause.
To science, learning, law, religion, she
Who prime of nations, scorning to defile
Her shores with slavery (Heaven then blessed the isle)
Adds Nature's grace, life's glory, to be free.
In this pure cause, Britannia, fare thou forth;
Thy fleets, thy hosts, thy people round the earth;
Elect of powers; in wealth most; first in worth:
Tyrant and slave make cease from all of human birth.

Mother of empire, native to command,
Whose stern self--rule to fickler realms makes known
A love which serves, but serving, awes, the throne;
Hope, yet, and aid, of thrall in every land;
Thy generous heart, well moved towards equal states,
Or subject; wishing all the like free fates;
Councils elect, the common good to advise;
Not princely will to obey as solely wise,
Nor serve the vacillant crowd's impulsive cries;
To this proud folk, war--humbled, yielding back
Their kings; to these, the peace, the faith they lack;
Preaching, in thousand tongues, to every nation;
To either Ind; and many an isle that waits
Thy sway; soul so men's brotherhood consecrates,
The oracles divine of man's salvation:
All good things owning in thy vast domain,
And scattering free, that every land obtain,
Near or afar; each one's redundancy
To other given; with thee, sufficeing gain;
Just and unjust being shewn like equity;
Know that thou standest, in Heaven's impartial eye,
Head state, chief pattern, of humanity.

Hope, therefore, of thy kind; of mightiest sons
Queen--mother; sons who are born to o'erlord the states
Which stand to rule earth's bounds; broad seas; rough straits
That clime with clime link in strict unions,
Be thine to sway; and hold the keys of ocean's gates;
For the world's safety, and freedom's, fortified.
Thy valour, which contemned a world 'gainst thee
In arms contestant, both by shore and tide,
Foes vanquished pitying, grateful is to me:
More grateful still to mark thine almonry;
Kind help, oft sole, of all who help require;
Souls from dread earthquake saved, far o'er the sea;
From shipwrack: famine; pest; the death--breath'd fire
Of earth--embowelled mines; from wasteful ire
Of hurricane; from flame--vomiting volcan's pyre,
Snatched; scarcely snatched; or, crown of natural ills,
From city immerging flood; of clouds and hills
The ravageous heir:-- Most, that thou dost desire,
Though in virtue matched by warlike mastery,
But what's to all just; nought else will'st to be;
Anothers due seek'st not; nor, wrongly gained,
Or erringly, wouldst wish one hour retained:
The world astound. Thee, therefore, ne'er to fail
Of heaven's approof, and thine own conscience, meet
And laudable judges, many a race shall greet
Just, or benevolent, fate. To thee, from states
Mornwards, where tribes, thou strivest with scant avail
To teach truth, now in re--throned potentates
Gladdening, tread earth's star--nighest peaks; from mead,
With rose and violet sweet, of Cyprus, freed
From age--long bonds of serfdom, and her feet,
Loosed from old ways of wanton vanities,
Shall rise just praise; from Ithakan isle, and these,
Septinsular, ornaments of the sacred seas,
And guardians. Egypt's swarthy swarm with face
A while avert, shall yet thy heart's embrace
Seek; and once blind, to clear sight soon restored,
Her liberator salute, of Heaven's just Lord
Upon earth's orb thrice greatest ministress. Thee
Far southening Afric's kinglings, dusk--skinned race,
Captured but from captivity freed, and waived
The Conqueror's right, let praise for sceptres saved;
And the unidolatrous Queen who from the face
Of her broad isle her own false gods to flame,
Her lieges theirs consigned,--their erewhile shame,--
Shall worshipping laud, and with hymns grateful grace.

Earth is to God a star; of stars the prime;
Britain, be thou in virtues through all time,
A sign enlightening man's immortal race.
Earth's leader land, and light of right, in thee
May honest states their moral model see.
Hope of the hopeless exile doomed to roam
By despots, from his birth--land; hope and home:
Auspicious sponsor, who, when teeming earth
Brings a new nation, unsuspect, to birth
Aye smilest; be thou blessed! One thoughtless mass,
The many idolled nations come, and pass,
And perish, who of me unmindful, pray
To stocks, stones. Egypt to the spoil I gave,
Though wise to teach the life beyond the grave,
Men and their gods; gods wrought of gold or clay.
The Assyrian's, Persian's sceptres, both, I broke,
Who, soul--slaves, worshipped, those, my ministers,
And servitors of light to men; while these,
Who falsely hailed a two--fold godhead's yoke,
The truth triumphant won to faith and ease;
Nor all the crowd of godlings Greece and Rome
Bred, bare, or buried, from my righteous glaive
Their kingdoms, when fate willed their end and doom,
Could aught avail them to prolong, or save.
Thou, never this wise erring. God alone
Adoring, and thy worship proud to own,
Chance--fall, nor time--lapse dread. Thy will, thy power.
Thy sun, for ever orient, even as land
To land succeeds on thy serene command,
These empire coasts deployed without all bound,
Imperial realm, fail nought; till earth's last hour
All ruinous, not from me hid, with dire sound
Strike; and that hand disperse, which gave her place,
And being, with this whole, in boundless space.

Isle dear to God and man, first born o' the sea;
All thy heart bids, and mind approves, let be.
To lands less blessed, teach Freedom's joys and charms;
Teach bodily, mental, social liberty.
Thine to make men, as mine to make man, free.
Fear not the snares of peace, nor war's alarms;
And leave with Heaven the issue of--Our arms.

by Philip James Bailey

Comments (3)

I have a vision to write like this, only if god would bless me enough to.ah
Allen, Wow I enjoyed your poem very much
This is equal to Howl, and far more personal. In some ways, it surpasses Howl. Too bad this is merely a fraction of the whole thing (counting White Shroud as well) .