Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
XII. To England
By George Henry Boker (1823–1890)
LEAR and Cordelia! ’t was an ancient tale
  Before thy Shakespeare gave it deathless fame:
  The times have changed, the moral is the same.
  So, like an outcast, dowerless and pale,
Thy daughter went, and in a foreign gale        5
  Spread her young banner, till its sway became
  A wonder to the nations. Days of shame
  Are close upon thee: prophets raise their wail.
When the rude Cossack with an outstretched hand
  Points his long spear across the narrow sea,—        10
  “Lo! there is England!”—when thy destiny
Storms on thy straw-crowned head, and thou dost stand
  Weak, helpless, mad, a by-word in the land,—
  God grant thy daughter a Cordelia be!

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