Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SONNET: ENGLAND, by THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH

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SONNET: ENGLAND, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: While men pay reverence to mighty things
Last Line: Each iron sinew quivering, lioness!
Subject(s): England; English

WHILE men pay reverence to mighty things,
They must revere thee, thou blue-cinctured isle
Of England -- not to-day, but this long while
In the front of nations, Mother of great kings,
Soldiers, and poets. Round thee the Sea flings
His steel-bright arm, and shields thee from the guile
And hurt of France. Secure, with august smile,
Thou sittest, and the East its tribute brings.
Some say thy old-time power is on the wane,
Thy moon of grandeur filled, contracts at length--
They see it darkening down from less to less.
Let but a hostile hand make threat again,
And they shall see thee in thy ancient strength,
Each iron sinew quivering, lioness!

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