England to Germany in 1914

Autumn 1914

'O England, may God punish thee!'
— Is it that Teuton genius flowers
Only to breathe malignity
Upon its friend of earlier hours?
— We have eaten your bread, you have eaten ours,
We have loved your burgs, your pines' green moan,
Fair Rhine-stream, and its storied towers;
Your shining souls of deathless dowers
Have won us as they were our own:

We have nursed no dreams to shed your blood,
We have matched your might not rancorously
Save a flushed few whose blatant mood
You heard and marked as well as we
To tongue not in their country's key;
But yet you cry with face aflame,
'O England, may God punish thee!'
And foul in onward history,
And present sight, your ancient name.

Source: Thomas Hardy: The Complete Poems (Palgrave, 2001)
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