The Union

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The Union
by Algernon Charles Swinburne
This poem is from the collection Astrophel and Other Poems, Book I of The Collected Poetical Works of Algernon Charles Swinburne, Vol. VI.

     I

     Three in one, but one in three,
     God, who girt her with the sea,
     Bade our Commonweal to be:
           Nought, if now not one.
     Though fraud and fear would sever
     The bond assured for ever,
     Their shameful strength shall never
         Undo what heaven has done.


     II

     South and North and West and East
     Watch the ravens flock to feast,
     Dense as round some death-struck beast,
           Black as night is black.
     Stand fast as faith together
     In stress of treacherous weather
     When hounds and wolves break tether
         And Treason guides the pack.


     III

     Lovelier than thy seas are strong,
     Glorious Ireland, sword and song
     Gird and crown thee: none may wrong,
           Save thy sons alone.
     The sea that laughs around us
     Hath sundered not but bound us:
     The sun's first rising found us
         Throned on its equal throne.


     IV

     North and South and East and West,
     All true hearts that wish thee best
     Beat one tune and own one quest,
           Staunch and sure as steel.
     God guard from dark disunion
     Our threefold State's communion,
     God save the loyal Union,
         The royal Commonweal!