Of old with a divided heart
I saw my people’s pride expand,
Since a man’s soul is torn apart
By mother earth and fatherland.
I knew, through many a tangled tale,
Glory and truth not one but two:
King, Constable, and Amirail
Took me like trumpets: but I knew
A blacker thing than blood’s own dye
Weighed down great Hawkins on the sea;
And Nelson turned his blindest eye
On Naples and on liberty.
Therefore to you my thanks, O throne,
O thousandfold and frozen folk,
For whose cold frenzies all your own
The Battle of the Rivers broke;
Who have no faith a man could mourn.
Nor freedom any man desires;
But in a new clean light of scorn
Close up my quarrel with my sires;
Who bring my English heart to me,
Who mend me like a broken toy;
Till I can see you fight and flee,
And laugh as if I were a boy.