Lovecraft on the vexed question of Scottish independence, on which the Scots vote next week.
“North and South Britons” was published under the pen name “Alexander Ferguson Blair” in The Tryout, May 1919. Presumably his poem was written in response to the increasing likelihood of Irish independence following the end of the First World War, and a consequent fear that the Scots would also ask for independence.
North and South Britons
Man is so much with prejudice imbu’d,
That love and hate arise from latitude;
What else can cause such petty strife to breed
Along the Cheviots and flowing Tweed?
No sober sense could disagreement bring
‘Twixt Britons with one country and one King.
Beyond the seas, the Colonies are built
Alike by men of breeches and of kilt;
On fields of war, with blood of heroes dy’d,
Stand sturdy Scots and Saxons side by side:
In harmony the martial music comes
From Scottish bagpipes and from English drums;
Amid such scenes none stops to boast his birth
As being north or south of Solway Firth;
There Fife and Devon, Ayr and Dorset blend,
And all for one united land contend.
How strange that men, so brotherly abroad,
Cannot be brothers on their native sod!
Would that each Scot and Saxon might be free
From local feuds, and childish jealousy.
Who shall the one above the other place,
When both are mix’d in one imperial race?
Rule on, belov’d Britannia, rule the waves—
No Britons, North or South, shall e’er be slaves!