display | more...

The True-born Englishman
by Daniel Defoe (b.1660-d.1731)

The Romans first with Julius Caesar came,
Including all the nations of that name,
Gauls, Greeks, and Lombards; and by computation,
Auxiliaries or slaves of ev'ry nation.

With Hengist, Saxons; Danes with Sueno came,
In search of plunder, not in search of fame.
Scots, Picts and Irish from th' Hibernian Shore:
And Conqu'ring William brought the Normans o'er.

And these their barb'rous offspring left behind,
The dregs of armies, they of all mankind;
Blended with Britons who before were here,
Of whom the Welsh ha'blest the character.

From this amphibious ill-born mob began
That vain ill-natur'd thing, an Englishman.


As a result of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 the Protestant William Prince of Orange replaced the Catholic James II on the throne of England. Not everyone was happy with this turn of events as William was a Dutchman; they objected to having a foreigner as king and extolled their own English parentage by way of comparison.

Defoe composed this satirical rejoinder as a gentle reminder to those English patriots of where their true roots lay. Worthwhile repeating out loud whenever some damn fool British politician starts complaining about the extent of immigration and how it's turning the British into a mongrel race.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.