In England

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   In England there are wrongs, no doubt,
   Which should be righted; so men say,
   Who seek to weed earth’s garden out
   And give the roses right of way.
   Yes, right of way to fruit and rose,
   Where now but poison ivy grows.

   In England there is wide unrest
   They tell me, who should know. And yet
   I saw but hedges gaily dressed,
   And eyes, where love and kindness met.
   Yes, love and kindness, met and made
   Soft sunshine, even in the shade.

   In England there are haunting things
   Which follow one to other lands;
   Like some pervading scent that clings
   To laces, touched by vanished hands.
   Yes, touched by vanished hands, that gave
   A fragrance which defies the grave.

   In England, centuries of art
   Give common things a mellow tone,
   And wake old memories in the heart
   Of other lives the soul has known.
   Yes, other lives in some past age
   Start forth from canvas, or from page.

   In England there are simple joys
   The modern world has left all sweet;
   In London’s heart are nooks, where noise
   Has entered but with slippered feet;
   Yes, entered softly.
         Friend, believe,
   To part from England is to grieve.

from An Englishman and Other Poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1912)

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