The collected poems of James Elroy Flecker/The Dying Patriot

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The Dying Patriot

Day breaks on England down the Kentish hills,
Singing in the silence of the meadow—footing rills,
Day of my dreams, O day!
   I saw them march from Dover, long ago,
   With a silver cross before them, singing low,
Monks of Rome from their home where the blue seas break in foam,
   Augustine with his feet of snow.

Noon strikes on England, noon on Oxford town,
–Beauty she was statue cold–there’s blood upon her gown:
Noon of my dreams, O noon!
   Proud and godly kings had built her, long ago,
   With her towers and tombs and statues all arow,
With her fair and floral air and the love that lingers there,
   And the streets where the great men go.

Evening on the olden, the golden sea of Wales,
When the first star shivers and the last wave pales:
O evening dreams!

   There’s a house that Britons walked in, long ago,
   Where now the springs of ocean fall and flow,
And the dead robed in red and sea-lilies overhead
   Sway when the long winds blow.

Sleep not, my country: though night is here, afar
Your children of the morning are clamorous for war:
Fire in the night, O dreams!
   Though she send you as she sent you, long ago,
   South to desert, east to ocean, west to snow,
West of these out to seas colder than the Hebrides I must go
   Where the fleet of stars is anchored and the young Star-captains glow.