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Patriotism -- Sir Walter Scott

Guest poem submitted by Amulya Gopalakrishnan:
(Poem #1690) Patriotism
 Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
 Who never to himself hath said,
    "This is my own, my native land!"
 Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd
 As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
    From wandering on a foreign strand?
 If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
 For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
 High though his titles, proud his name,
 Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
 Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
 The wretch, concentred all in self,
 Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
 And, doubly dying, shall go down
 To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
 Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.
-- Sir Walter Scott
        From "The Lay of the Last Minstrel", Canto VI.

Here's a poem I memorized out of sheer love. Somehow, when I was seven or
eight, I couldn't get enough of swelling patrotic sentiment. This one, and
"Rule, Brittania!" were particular favourites (I wasn't discriminating about
which country)... Though it sounds very different now, I still instinctively
resist notions of a post-national world: there's a dire voice in my head
that goes, "unwept, unhonoured and unsung". :)


38 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

karthikeyan said...

Here's a poem that I memorized not out of sheer love but for the mere weights this poem carried in my 6th standard English paper. I don’t remember how much I scored on this but it still carries its weight but not quantifiable.

Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d,
From wandering on a foreign strand?

These lines still continue to echo in my ears…....


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