Henry Salt Archive

Henry Salt (1853-1939) was the author of the Life of Henry David Thoreau, Animals Rights and A Plea for Vegetarianism which inspired Gandhi for follow a vegetarian diet.

The True Patriotism

When gathering clouds of black distress
Mark dark the day before us,
’Tis then our sages of the Press
Croak loud their dreary chorus.
“Be calm,” they cry, “and foster not
“Class strife and schemes Quixotic;
“True Englishmen, Whate’er their lot,
“Must first be patriotic.”

Instruct us then, ye wits profound,
Who prate of workmen’s duty,
Where may this patriot love be found
In fullest bliss and beauty?
And who be they, ’mid this wild time
Of social wrongs chaotic,
May justly claim the right sublime
Of purpose patriotic?

And patriots those who boast and brag
Of high imperial glory,
Yet follow faithful to the flag
Of selfish Whig or Tory?
Who cleave to party, right or wrong,
With dullness idiotic;
Who scorn the weak, and praise the strong—
Are these the patriotic?

Alas! Ye do misuse a name
That still, in truth, is holy;
Still lives unquenched the patriot flame,
In simple hearts and lowly;
To help the weak with dauntless hand;
To humble and despotic;—
This is true love of fatherland,
This, this, is patriotic.

H. S. S.
Justice, February 28, 1885 - No. 59