DAVIDSON, JOHN (1857-1909, Scottish poet)
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF A POEM PRAISING ENGLAND'S STAND presumably in the Boer War, signed ('John Davidson'), 18 lines in three six-line stanzas, with a pencil alteration in the margin for a line in the last stanza, 1 page, folio, not dated
They breathed no slur on her imperial fame,
No crafty question of her right,
From east and west across the seas they came,
For England's sake rejoicing in the fight.
"England at war? -- To arms in England's name!
One destiny is ours; one heart; one might!"...
We thank you, we far-off, of English birth,
Or proud of English blood and bone,
Remembering humbly many a shadowed hearth,
While English lives belov'd broadcast are sewn
To leaven southern soil with English earth,
And of a surety make the land your own.
Autograph poetical manuscripts by Davidson are rare; only two have appeared at auction.
PROBABLY UNPUBLISHED: not in The Poems of John Davidson, 2 volumes, edited by Andrew Turnbull, 1973.
In his biography Townsend noted 'Davidson's complacent Anglophilia, vociferous imperialism and mawkish hero worship.' The main repository of Davidson's manuscripts is Princeton.
PROVENANCE: David Holmes.
REFERENCES: J. Benjamin Townsend, John Davidson Poet of Armageddon, 1978; Location Register of Twentieth-Century Literary Manuscripts and Letters, 2 volumes, 1988 (no manuscript listed therein).