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

Ford Madox Brown 1821–93

For the Picture, “The Last of England”


“THE LAST of England! O’er the sea, my dear,

Our homes to seek amid Australian fields,

Us, not our million-acred island yields

The space to dwell in. Thrust out! Forced to hear

Low ribaldry from sots, and share rough cheer

With rudely-nurtur’d men. The hope youth builds

Of fair renown, barter’d for that which shields

Only the back, and half-form’d lands that rear

The dust-storm blistering up the grasses wild.

There learning skills not, nor the poet’s dream,

Nor aught so lov’d as children shall we see.”

She grips his listless hand and clasps her child,

Through rainbow tears she sees a sunnier gleam,

She cannot see a void, where he will be.