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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Richard Monckton Milnes Houghton, 1st Baron 1809–85

An Envoy to an American Lady


BEYOND the vague Atlantic deep,

Far as the farthest prairies sweep,

Where forest-glooms the nerve appal,

Where burns the radiant Western fall,

One duty lies on old and young,—

With filial piety to guard,

As on its greenest native sward,

The glory of the English tongue.

That ample speech! That subtle speech!

Apt for the need of all and each:

Strong to endure, yet prompt to bend

Wherever human feelings tend.

Preserve its force—expand its powers;

And through the maze of civic life,

In Letters, Commerce, even in Strife,

Forget not it is yours and ours.