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by Canon E.W. Eyden
Behind the dismal city streets where crowded houses stand,
There lies another country that’s grounded in the past,
Where rootless city folk still dream they’ll find true peace at last.
Still holds a rich diversity to touch the hearts of of all.
From the rugged border country, through northern dales and fells,
To the gentler southern counties it weaves its magic spells.
To Cornwall with its storm-tossed cliffs where Celtic myths abound,
In countless, ancient villages another England lies
With church and inn and manor house whose witness still survives.
Our lovely countryside remains in spite of every threat,
To be cherished and protected, lest one day we should forget
That it’s deep in rural England that our roots are to be found
And the land we treat so lightly is really hallowed ground.
The bodies of our forefathers were gently laid to rest.
For all of us were country folk, until industrial change
Transformed the face of English towns and rural life grew strange.
Today Saint George, our patron saint, still flies the banner high,
The symbol of the land we love, its earth, its sea, its sky.
Like him we pray that we may stand in hamlet, village, town,
For this other land of England- our pride, our joy, our Crown !