“Cozened, coerced and scared…”


And the winds of the world made answer –
North, south and east and west;
Wherever there’s wealth to covet
Or land that can be possessed,

Wherever there are ‘savage’ races
To cozen, coerce and scare
You will find the vaunted ensign,
For the English flag is there.

Aye, it waves o’er the blazing hovels,
Whence African victims fly,
To be shot by explosive bullets,
Or to wretchedly starve and die.

And where the beachcomber harries
The Isles of the southern sea
At the peak of his devilish vessel
‘Tis the English flag flies free.

The Maori fall off has cursed it
With his bitterest dying breath,
And the Arab hath hissed his hatred
As he spits at its folds in death.

The hapless fellah has feared it
On Tel-el-Kebir’s parched plain,
And the Zulu’s blood has stained it
With a deep indelible stain.

It has floated o’er scenes of pillage;
It has flaunted o’er deeds of shame;
It has waved o’er the fell marauder
As he ravished with sword and flame.

It has looked upon ruthless slaughter,
And massacres dire and grim;
It has heard the shrieks of the victims
Drown even the jingo hymn.

Where is the flag of England?
Seek the land where the natives rot,
Where decay and assured extinction
Must soon be the people’s lot.

Go search for the once glad islands
Where disease and death are rife,
And the greed of a callous commerce
Now fattens on human life.

Where is the flag of England?
Go, sail where rich galleons come
With shoddy and loaded cottons,
With beer and Bibles and rum.

Go, too, where brute force has triumphed,
And hypocrisy makes its lair;
And your question will find its answer,


-Henry Labouchère.

(My thanks to Jimmymac for bringing this to my attention.)
Thanks for reading!

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
This entry was posted in History/Politics.. Bookmark the permalink.

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