Home  »  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century  »  James Drummond Burns (1823–1864)

Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Sonnets. VIII. Great Britain

James Drummond Burns (1823–1864)

(From Sonnets on Finding the North-West Passage)

DESPOND not, Britain! Should this sacred hold

Of Freedom, still inviolate, be assailed,

The high, unblenching spirit which prevailed

In ancient days is neither dead nor cold.

Men are still in thee of heroic mould,—

Men whom thy grand old sea-kings would have hailed

As worthy peers, invulnerably mailed,

Because by duty’s sternest law controlled.

Thou yet shalt rise, and send abroad thy voice

Among the nations, battling for the right,

In the unrusted armour of thy youth;

And the oppressed shall hear it and rejoice,

For on thy side is the resistless might

Of Freedom, Justice, and Eternal Truth!