Rule Britannia

Melody - Thomas Augustine Arne, 1740

James Thomson, 1740 (1700-1748)
When Britain first— at Heaven's command
Arose— from out the azure main
Arose, arose, arose from out the azure main
This was the charter,
The charter of the land,
And guardian angels sung this strain:

Rule Britannia, Britannia rule the waves,
Britons never never never shall be slaves.

The nations, not— so blest as thee,
Must, in their turns, to tyrants fall:
Must in, must in, must in their turns to tyrants fall.
While thou shalt flourish,
Shalt flourish great and free,
The dread and envy of them all.

Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful, from each foreign stroke:
More dreadful, dreadful, dreadful from each foreign stroke.
As the loud blast,
The blast that tears the skies,
Serves but to root thy native oak.

Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame:
All their attempts to bend thee down,
All their, all their, all their attempts to bend thee down
Will but arouse thy,
Arouse thy generous flame;
But work their woe, and thy renown.

To thee belongs the rural reign;
Thy cities— shall with commerce shine:
Thy cities, cities, cities shall with commerce shine
All thine shall be the,
Shall be the subject main,
And every shore it circles thine.

The Muses, still with freedom found,
Shall to— thy happy coast repair:
Shall to, shall to, shall to thy happy coast repair
Blest isle! with matchless,
With matchless beauty crown'd,
And manly hearts to guard the fair.

Jacobite version
Britannia, rouse at Heav'n's command!
And crown thy native Prince again;
Then Peace shall bless thy happy land,
And plenty pour in from the rnain:
Then shalt thou be - Britannia, thou shalt be
From home and foreign tyrants free.

Behold, great Charles! thy godlike son,
With majesty and sweetness crowned;
His worth th'admiring world doth own,
And fame's loud trump proclaims the sound.
Thy captain him, Britannia, him declare.
Of kings and heroes he's the heir.

Then, Britons, rouse! with trurnpets' sound
Proclaim this solemn, happy day'.
Let mirth with cheerful music crowned
Drive sullen thoughts and cares away!
Come, Britons, sing! Britannia, draw thy sword!
And use it for thy rightful lord!

Composed by Thomas Augustine Arne in 1740 for his masque Alfred, 'RuIe, Britannia!' was first heard at a performance given at Cliefden House, Maidenhead - then the residence of Frederick, Prince of Wales - when the masque was given to celebrate the accession of George I and the birthday of the Princess Augusta. This most popular of all English national airs was first heard in London in 1745 and achieved instant popularity. So well known was it that Handel even quoted it in his Occasional Oratorio in the following year when it was sung to the words, 'War shall cease, welcome peace!'. Predictably 'Rule, Britannia!' was seized upon by the Jacobites and James Thomson's words were altered accordingly.
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