THE ENGLISHMAN

Born in the flesh and bred in the bone,
   Some of us harbor still
A New World pride: and we flaunt or hide
   The Spirit of Bunker Hill.
We claim our place as a separate race
   Or a self-created clan:
Till there comes a day, when we like to say
   "We are kin of the Englishman."

For under the front that seems so cold
   And the voice that is wont to storm,
We are certain to find a big broad mind
   And a heart that is soft---and warm.
He carries his woes in a lordly way,
   As only the great souls can:
And it makes us glad when in truth we say
   "We are kin of the Englishman."

He slams his door in the face of the world,
   If he thinks the world too bold:
He will even curse: but he opens his purse
   To the poor, and the sick and the old.
He is slow in giving to woman the vote,
   And slow to pick up her fan:
But he GIVES HER ROOM IN THE HOUR OF DOOM
   And DIES---LIKE AN ENGLISHMAN!

  My husband and I were on board the Olympic, sailing to England, when the Titanic went down.  At the breakfast table our steward told us that news had been received that the titanic had struck an iceberg, but was saved with all on board.  He said, however, he feared more serious news might come later...  And it was during this voyage, that we, for the first time, realized fully the wonderful power of poise and self-control possessed by the Englishman.  I wrote some verses, entitled "The Englishman," as a result of this experience; and they appeared in an English paper the day we landed.

The worlds and I. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox. p. 219-220.
New York : George H. Doran Company, c1918.


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