Songs of England, new and enlarged edition, by Alfred Austin.
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“Behind her rolling ramparts England lay…”
Alfred Austin (born 1835) who was Poet Laureate from 1896 to 1913, was patriotic and conservative and as such he was mocked as a “Banjo-Byron” by more sophisticated writers of his day.
This collection is very much inspired by ‘love and pride of Country’ with poems comparing the British Empire to the great days of Ancient Rome, or even Sparta. There are verses about Merlin, King Arthur’s wizard, and a long hymn of praise to Queen Victoria (“They placed a Crown upon her fair young brow”). All are infused with the heroic spirit of Empire and a hope that England’s future will be even more glorious than her past.
Even at the time, such blatant, naïve patriotism was seen as out-dated and Austin was widely lampooned as someone who took himself too seriously. He may not be as bad a poet as William McGonagall, but he certainly makes the top ten!
Clean copy in good condition. The binding is intact. No dustjacket. Cover boards are faded.