Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ENGLAND AND AMERICA: 2. ON A PARISIAN BOULEVARD, by JAMES KENNETH STEPHEN



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ENGLAND AND AMERICA: 2. ON A PARISIAN BOULEVARD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Britannia rules the waves
Last Line: And execrably plain.
Alternate Author Name(s): Stephen, J. K.


Britannia rules the waves,
As I have heard her say;
She frees whatever slaves
She meets upon her way.

A teeming mother she
Of Parliaments and Laws;
Majestic, mighty, free:
Devoid of common flaws.

For her did Shakspere write
His admirable plays:
For her did Nelson fight
And Wolseley win his bays.

Her sturdy common sense
Is based on solid grounds:
By saving numerous pence
She spends effective pounds.

The Saxon and the Celt
She equitably rules;
Her iron rod is felt
By countless knaves and fools.

In fact, mankind at large,
Black, yellow, white and red,
Is given to her in charge,
And owns her as a head.

But every here and there --
Deny it if you can --
She breeds a vacant stare
Unworthy of a man:

A look of dull surprise;
A nerveless idle hand:
An eye which never tries
To threaten or command:

In short, a kind of man,
If man indeed he be,
As worthy of our ban
As any that we see:

Unspeakably obtuse,
Abominably vain,
Of very little use,
And execrably plain.





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