England, Awake!

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England, Awake!
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
From Poems of Experience (1917)


A beautiful great lady, past her prime,
   Behold her dreaming in her easy chair;
   Gray robed, and veiled; in laces old and rare,
Her smiling eyes see but the vanished time,
Of splendid prowess, and of deeds sublime.
   Self satisfied she sits, all unaware
   That peace has flown before encroaching care,
And through her halls stalks hunger, linked with crime.

England, awake! from dreams of what has been,
   Look on what is, and put the past away.
Speak to your sons, until they understand.
England, awake! for dreaming now is sin;
   In all your ancient wisdom, rise to-day,
And save the glory of your menaced land.

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