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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.


The Cliffs of Dover

By Felicia Hemans (1793–1835)

ROCKS of my country! let the cloud

Your crested heights array,

And rise ye like a fortress proud

Above the surge and spray!

My spirit greets you as ye stand

Breasting the billow’s foam:

O, thus forever guard the land,

The severed land of home!

I have left rich blue skies behind,

Lighting up classic shrines,

And music in the southern wind,

And sunshine on the vines.

The breathings of the myrtle flowers

Have floated o’er my way;

The pilgrim’s voice, at vesper hours,

Hath soothed me with its lay.

The isles of Greece, the hills of Spain,

The purple heavens of Rome,—

Yes, all are glorious; yet again

I bless thee, land of home!

For thine the sabbath peace, my land!

And thine the guarded hearth;

And thine the dead,—the noble band

That make thee holy earth.

Their voices meet me in thy breeze,

Their steps are on thy plains;

Their names, by old majestic trees,

Are whispered round thy fanes.

Their blood hath mingled with the tide

Of thine exulting sea;

O, be it still a joy, a pride,

To live and die for thee!