Sibylline Leaves (Coleridge)/America to Great Britain


Written in America, in the year 1810.[1]

All hail! thou noble Land,
Our Fathers' native soil!
O stretch thy mighty hand,
Gigantic grown by toil,
O'er the vast Atlantic wave to our shore:
For thou with magic might
Canst reach to where the light
Of Phœbus travels bright
The world o'er!

The Genius of our clime,
From his pine-embattled steep,
Shall hail the guest sublime;
While the Tritons of the deep

With their conchs the kindred league shall proclaim.
Then let the world combine—
O'er the main our Naval Line
Like the milky way shall shine
Bright in fame!

Though ages long have past
Since our Fathers left their home,
Their pilot in the blast,
O'er untravell'd seas to roam,
Yet lives the blood of England in our veins!
And shall we not proclaim
That blood of honest fame
Which no tyranny can tame
By its chains?

While the language free and bold
Which the Bard of Avon sung,
In which our Milton told
How the vault of Heaven rung
When Satan, blasted, fell with his host;
While this, with rev'rence meet,
Ten thousand echoes greet,
From rock to rock repeat
Round our coast;

While the manners, while the arts.
That mould a nation's soul,
Still cling around our hearts—
Between let ocean roll.
Our joint communion breaking with the Sun:
Yet still from either beach
The voice of blood shall reach,
More audible than speech,
'We are One.'[2]

  1. This Poem, written by an American gentleman, a valued and dear friend, I communicate to the reader for its moral, no less than its poetic spirit. The metre of this ode, especially in the fifth line of ⁠each stanza, is written with a foreknowledge of the Tune, ⁠and must therefore be read as it would be sung.
  2. This alludes merely to the moral union of the two Countries. The Author would not have it supposed that the tribute of respect, offered in these Stanzas to the Land of his Ancestors, would be paid by him, if at the expense of the independence of that which gave him birth.

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