The American Rebellion

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The American Rebellion  (1911) 
by Rudyard Kipling
First published in A School History of England (1911).


Before:

       'Twas not while England's sword unsheathed
              Put half a world to flight,
       Nor while their new-built cities breathed
              Secure behind her might;
       Not while she poured from Pole to Line
              Treasure and ships and men—
       These worshippers at Freedoms shrine
              They did not quit her then!

       Not till their foes were driven forth
              By England o'er the main—
       Not till the Frenchman from the North
              Had gone with shattered Spain;
       Not till the clean-swept oceans showed
              No hostile flag unrolled,
       Did they remember that they owed
              To Freedom—and were bold!


After:

       The snow lies thick on Valley Forge,
              The ice on the Delaware,
       But the poor dead soldiers of King George
              They neither know nor care.

       Not though the earliest primrose break
              On the sunny side of the lane,
       And scuffling rookeries awake
              Their England's spring again.

       They will not stir when the drifts are gone,
              Or the ice melts out of the bay:
       And the men that served with Washington
              Lie all as still as they.

       They will not stir though the mayflower blows
              In the moist dark woods of pine,
       And every rock-strewn pasture shows
              Mullein and columbine.

       Each for his land, in a fair fight,
              Encountered strove, and died,
       And the kindly earth that knows no spite
              Covers them side by side.

       She is too busy to think of war;
              She has all the world to make gay;
       And, behold, the yearly flowers are
              Where they were in our fathers' day!

       Golden-rod by the pasture-wall
              When the columbine is dead,
       And sumach leaves that turn, in fall,
              Bright as the blood they shed.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1936, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 75 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.