Alfred’s Song

Alfred Austin 1835 (Leeds) – 1913 (Ashford)

In the Beginning when, out of darkness,
The Earth, the Heaven,
The stars, the seasons,
The mighty mainland,
And whale-ploughed water,
By God the Maker
Were formed and fashioned,
Then God made England.

He made it shapely,
With land-locked inlets,
And gray-green nesses;
With rivers roaming
From fair-leafed forests
Through windless valleys,
Past plain and pasture,
To sloping shingle:
Thus God made England.

Then like to the long-backed bounding billows,
That foam and follow
In rolling ridges,
Before and after,
To bluff and headland,
Hither there tided
The loose-limbed Briton,
The lording Roman,
And strong on his oars the sea-borne Saxon,
And now the Norsemen
Who hard with Alfred
Wrestle for England.

But onward and forward,
In far days fairer,
I see this England
Made one and mighty:
Mighty and master
Of all within it.
Mighty and master
Of men high-seated,
Of free-necked labour,
Lowland and upland,
And corn and cattle,
And ploughland peaceful,
Of happy homesteads
That warmly nestle
In holt and hollow.
This is the England,
In fair days forward,
I see and sing of.

Then, mighty and master of all within her,
Of Celt and Briton,
Angle and Frisian,
Saxon and Norseman,
Shall England plough, like the whale and walrus,
The roaring ridges
Of foam-necked water,
With long-oared warships
And keels high-beakëd;
And never a foeman,
Eastward or westward,
Shall dare to raven
Her salt-sea inlets,
Her grim gray nesses,
But, swift at the sight of her rearing cradles,
Shall scud and scatter,
Like wild geese fleeing
'Twixt wave and welkin,
Away from the dread of the shrilling weapons
Of foam-fenced England!

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Submitted on May 13, 2011


Alfred Austin

Alfred Austin DL was an English poet who was appointed Poet Laureate in 1896 upon the death of Alfred, Lord Tennyson. more…

All Alfred Austin poems | Alfred Austin Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)


Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Discuss this Alfred Austin poem with the community:


Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


"Alfred’s Song" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 13 Aug. 2020. <’s-song>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

Our awesome collection of

Promoted Poems


Our favorite collection of

Famous Poets


Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.