The True Born Englishman (excerpt)
Thus from a mixture of all kinds began,
That het'rogeneous thing, an Englishman:
In eager rapes, and furious lust begot,
Betwixt a painted Britain and a Scot.
Whose gend'ring off-spring quickly learn'd to bow,
And yoke their heifers to the Roman plough:
From whence a mongrel half-bred race there came,
With neither name, nor nation, speech nor fame.
In whose hot veins new mixtures quickly ran,
Infus'd betwixt a Saxon and a Dane.
While their rank daughters, to their parents just,
Receiv'd all nations with promiscuous lust.
This nauseous brood directly did contain
The well-extracted blood of Englishmen.
Which medly canton'd in a heptarchy,
A rhapsody of nations to supply,
Among themselves maintain'd eternal wars,
And still the ladies lov'd the conquerors.
The western Angles all the rest subdu'd;
A bloody nation, barbarous and rude:
Who by the tenure of the sword possest
One part of Britain, and subdu'd the rest
And as great things denominate the small,
The conqu'ring part gave title to the whole.
The Scot, Pict, Britain, Roman, Dane, submit,
And with the English-Saxon all unite:
And these the mixture have so close pursu'd,
The very name and memory's subdu'd:
No Roman now, no Britain does remain;
Wales strove to separate, but strove in vain:
The silent nations undistinguish'd fall,
And Englishman's the common name for all.
Fate jumbled them together, God knows how;
What e'er they were they're true-born English now.
The wonder which remains is at our pride,
To value that which all wise men deride.
For Englishmen to boast of generation,
Cancels their knowledge, and lampoons the nation.
A true-born Englishman's a contradiction,
In speech an irony, in fact a fiction.
A banter made to be a test of fools,
Which those that use it justly ridicules.
A metaphor invented to express
A man a-kin to all the universe.
For as the Scots, as learned men ha' said,
Throughout the world their wand'ring seed ha' spread;
So open-handed England, 'tis believ'd,
Has all the gleanings of the world receiv'd.
Some think of England 'twas our Saviour meant,
The Gospel should to all the world be sent:
Since, when the blessed sound did hither reach,
They to all nations might be said to preach.
'Tis well that virtue gives nobility,
How shall we else the want of birth and blood supply?
Since scarce one family is left alive,
Which does not from some foreigner derive.
Daniel Defoe's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The True Born Englishman (excerpt) by Daniel Defoe )
- Beneath Covers Of Sadness, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- My New Home, Leong Ming Loong
- Lost Sequences, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Longing, Leong Ming Loong
- Mr. Conservative Asking Her Daughter, Wh.., Bijay Kant Dubey
- A Parable, Leong Ming Loong
- The Torture, Leong Ming Loong
- Fanatic's Daughter Miss Burquawalli Met .., Bijay Kant Dubey
- The Formless Form, Leong Ming Loong
- The Poor Boy, Leong Ming Loong
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Love, Ocean Myranda
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- 'Happy Happy birthday', Verlecia fields
- Where The Mind Is Without Fear, Rabindranath Tagore
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)