There is a poem briefly recited in the film "The History Boys." I think the boy said it was by Stevie Smith, of "Not Waving but Drowning" fame. It went something like this: "England, you've been here too long, And the songs are the songs you've sung." Those might not be the exact words, but does anyone know the name of the poem and the author, and where I can get a copy of it?
#100934. Asked by thegogga. (Nov 12 08 1:03 PM)
Voices Against England In The Night|
by Stevie Smith
'England, you had better go,
There is nothing else that you ought to do,
You lump of survival value, you are too slow.
England, you have been here tooo long,
And the songs you sing are the songs you sung
On a braver day. Now they are wrong.
And as you sing the sliver slips from your lips,
And the governing garment sits ridiculously on your hips.
It is a pity that you are still too cunning to make slips.
Dr Goebbels, that is the point,
You are a few years too soon with your jaunt,
Time and the moment is not yet England's daunt.
Yes, dreaming Germany with your Urge and Night,
You must go down before English and American might.
It is well, it is well, cries the peace kite.
Perhaps England our darling will recover her lost thought
We must think sensibly about our victory and not be distraught,
Perhaps America will have an idea, and perhaps not.
But they cried: Could not England, once the world's best,
Put off her governing garment and be better dressed
In a shroud, a shrouud? O history turn thy pages fast!
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