United Brethren has retired.

Rule Britannia!

Thanks to Times and Seasons for their kind sentiments regarding the bombings in London yesterday. This proud Brit, currently seconded among England’s clouded hills, is grateful.

It’s been a funny few weeks for the British. Last month we were thoroughly rounded on by the rest of Europe owing to matters EU. M Chirac said some nasty things about our food and our Prime Minister. Then there was the prospect of defeat to Paris for the 2012 Olympics.

The 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar raised spirits, Live-8 proved British generosity, and we snatched the Olympics from under the noses of the Frogs. Britannia, it seemed, still ruled the waves.

Then came yesterday. I’ve blogged about it already over at Headlife.

Written for a bygone era, and full of imperial bombast, the words of Rule Britannia nevertheless capture my mood today and that of my beloved country: not depressed, not vengeful, but proud and defiant.

Britons never, ever shall be slaves: not to Napolean, not to Nazis, not to terrorists, not to anyone.

Rule Britannia

a poem by James Thompson

When Britain first, at heaven's command,
Arose from out the azure main;
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian Angels sung this strain:

Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
Britons never will be slaves.

The nations, not so blest as thee,
Must, in their turns, to tyrants fall:
While thou shalt flourish great and free,
The dread and envy of them all.

Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful, from each foreign stroke:
As the loud blast that tears the skies,
Serves but to root thy native oak.

Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame:
All their attempts to bend thee down,
Will but arouse thy generous flame;
But work their woe, and thy renown.

To thee belongs the rural reign;
Thy cities shall with commerce shine:
All thine shall be the subject main,
And every shore it circles thine.

The Muses, still with freedom found,
Shall to thy happy coast repair:
Blest isle! with matchless beauty crowned,
And manly hearts to guard the fair.

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Anonymous Anonymous said ... (July 08, 2005 7:48 PM) 

Britons never, ever shall be slaves: not to Napolean, not to Nazis, not to terrorists, not to anyone. 

This is an inspiring and moving statement, Ronan.

(I hope you don't mind if I quote you some time in the future.) 

Posted by Geoff J


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (July 08, 2005 8:38 PM) 

Very very glad to hear that you and yours are safe. 

Posted by John C.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (July 27, 2005 10:43 AM) 

We'll just ignore the Romans, and the fact that Britons have taken and held plenty of slaves through the centuries. 

Posted by Anonymous


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (July 27, 2005 10:49 AM) 


You, me, outside, now. C'mon! 

Posted by Ronan


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