The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

My Country

THERE is no dearer land in all the world

Than thee, my country, girded by the sea.

Where rocks re-echo to the bounding waters hurl'd.

And all is endless sight and mystery to me.

The silent distances of hills, replete

With tideless joy, eternal hope

Upspringing with the eagle's pennon-beat.

Free to the airs, with ne'er a tether-rope

To check its flight.

The sky above may weep, and seldom smile.

And mirky be the frown upon thy brow.

Yet O! thy mountain woods and endless mile

Of sea, sing joy unbound, and life, that now

Expansive breathes the freshness of the free.

Thy piney airs and salt-sea breezes blown.

With peaty scent and loamy breath of lea

Seek out the soul that nowhere else hath known

The like to thee.

There is no dearer land in all the world

Than thee, my country, girded by the sea.

'Twere joy to those who bear the flag unfurl'd

In ruthless strife to keep thine acres free.

To dip the hand in blood, the face to scar

With sword of death, that thou unconquered may

For Freedom stand, the vanquisher of war.

Chaste guardian of the unprotected way

To'peace and right.