Introduction To The True-Born Englishman
Speak, satire; for there's none can tell like thee
Whether 'tis folly, pride, or knavery
That makes this discontented land appear
Less happy now in times of peace than war?
Why civil feuds disturb the nation more
Than all our bloody wars have done before?
Fools out of favour grudge at knaves in place,
And men are always honest in disgrace;
The court preferments make men knaves in course,
But they which would be in them would be worse.
'Tis not at foreigners that we repine,
Would foreigners their perquisites resign:
The grand contention's plainly to be seen,
To get some men put out, and some put in.
For this our senators make long harangues,
And florid members whet their polished tongues.
Statesmen are always sick of one disease,
And a good pension gives them present ease:
That's the specific makes them all content
With any king and any government.
Good patriots at court abuses rail,
And all the nation's grievances bewail;
But when the sovereign's balsam's once applied,
The zealot never fails to change his side;
And when he must the golden key resign,
The railing spirit comes about again.
Who shall this bubbled nation disabuse,
While they their own felicities refuse,
Who the wars have made such mighty pother,
And now are falling out with one another:
With needless fears the jealous nation fill,
And always have been saved against their will:
Who fifty millions sterling have disbursed,
To be with peace and too much plenty cursed:
Who their old monarch eagerly undo,
And yet uneasily obey the new?
Search, satire, search; a deep incision make;
The poison's strong, the antidote's too weak.
'Tis pointed truth must manage this dispute,
And downright English, Englishmen confute.
Whet thy just anger at the nation's pride,
And with keen phrase repel the vicious tide;
To Englishmen their own beginnings show,
And ask them why they slight their neighbours so.
Go back to elder times and ages past,
And nations into long oblivion cast;
To old Britannia's youthful days retire,
And there for true-born Englishmen inquire.
Britannia freely will disown the name,
And hardly knows herself from whence they came:
Wonders that they of all men should pretend
To birth and blood, and for a name contend.
Go back to causes where our follies dwell,
And fetch the dark original from hell:
Speak, satire, for there's none like thee can tell.
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Introduction To The True-Born Englishman by Daniel Defoe )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1923 - 1998)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
- A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- O Captain! My Captain!, Walt Whitman
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- A Poison Tree, William Blake
- Alone, Maya Angelou
- Are You Drinking?, Charles Bukowski
- A Smile To Remember, Charles Bukowski
Poem of the Day
- Coming Home, Slim Jay
- 'Words', Katherine York
- Love, Baki Yigit
- Hopeless Romantic, Shane Clawson
- Firebird Sunset, Salvatore Ala
- Flicker, Jessica Paige Davies
- I will always return, Jessica Paige Davies
- They are my horses, Jessica Paige Davies
- HOW THEY ALL FALL, Terry Collett
- Caucus at the Parking Meter, Donal Mahoney