Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free,
How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee?
Wider still, and wider, shall thy bounds be set;
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet!
Truth and Right and Freedom, each a holy gem,
Stars of solemn brightness, weave thy diadem.
Tho' thy way be darkened, still in splendour drest,
As the star that trembles o'er the liquid West.
Throned amid the billows, throned inviolate,
Thou hast reigned victorious, thou has smiled at fate.
Land of Hope and Glory, fortress of the Free,
How may we extol thee, praise thee, honour thee?
Hark, a mighty nation maketh glad reply;
Lo, our lips are thankful, lo, our hearts are high!
Hearts in hope uplifted, loyal lips that sing;
Strong in faith and freedom, we have crowned our King!
Music by Sir Edward Elgar and known as the Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 written in 1902. Although Elgar preferred his work without being accompanied by words, it is usually sung nowadays though often only the chorus is sung. There are two versions the one above and the original words which were written by Arthur Christopher Benson in the form of a poem. The original poem was as follows:
Dear Land of Hope, thy hope is crowned.
God make thee mightier yet!
On Sov'ran brows, beloved, renowned,
Once more thy crown is set.
Thine equal laws, by Freedom gained,
Thine equal laws, by Freedom gained,
By Freedom gained, by Truth maintained,
Thine Empire shall be strong.
Land of Hope and Glory,
Mother of the Free,
How shall we extol thee,
Who are born of thee?
Wider still and wider
Shall thy bounds be set;
God, who made thee mighty,
Make thee mightier yet.
Thy fame is ancient as the days,
As Ocean large and wide:
A pride that dares, and heeds not praise,
A stern and silent pride:
Not that false joy that dreams content
With what our sires have won;
The blood a hero sire hath spent
Still nerves a hero son.
Today is St George’s Day – 23rd April (a day to be patriotic and think of one’s home and country) and many people in England are longing for an English National Anthem. Some prefer Elgar’s ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ the words above. Some would welcome ‘Jerusalem,’ as below:
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Bring me my Bow of burning gold!
Bring me my Arrows of desire!
Bring me my Spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.
The Jerusalem tune was written by Charles Hubert Hastings Parry with words by William Blake. This was a hymn that was originally used in the movement of ‘votes for women’ and is still the official song sung by the Women’s Institute today.
Whilst the final choice is ‘I vow to thee my Country’ which is probably the most beautiful with wonderful words:
I Vow To Thee, My Country
I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love:
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.
And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul, and silently, her shining bounds increase;
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.
The words to ‘I Vow To Thee, My Country’ were originally written in 1918 by Sir Cecil Spring Rice. The words were later put to music by Gustav Holst.
Which should be the National Anthem of England … I do hope that it is the last of the three choices, don’t you?
The flag of England – St George’s flag