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Alfred Lord Tennyson: National Song

National Song

  There is no land like England
Where'er the light of day be;
There are no hearts like English hearts,
Such hearts of oak as they be.
There is no land like England
Where'er the light of day be;
There are no men like Englishmen,
So tall and bold as they be.
  Chorus.—For the French the Pope may shrive 'em,
For the devil a whit we heed 'em,
As for the French, God speed 'em
Unto their hearts' desire,
And the merry devil drive 'em
Through the water and the fire.
  Chorus.—Our glory is our freedom,
We lord it o'er the sea;
We are the sons of freedom,
We are free.
  There is no land like England,
Where'er the light of day be;
There are no wives like English wives,
So fair and chaste as they be.
There is no land like England,
Where'er the light of day be,
There are no maids like English maids,
So beautiful as they be.
  Chorus.—For the French, etc.

Sixty years after first publication this Song was incorporated in 'The Foresters' (published 1892) as the opening chorus of the second act. The two verses were unaltered, but the two choruses were re-written.