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.
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". :) Amu.