Farewell "With All Her Faults She Is My Country Still"

Horton Foote

"With All Her Faults She Is My Country Still"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Charles Churchill, a dissipated clergyman who during the last four years of his life acquired notoriety and fame as a satirist, writes in this poem a dialogue between a poet and his friend. It is the poet's intention to bid farewell to England, to look somewhere else for the objects of his ridicule. The friend, amazed at this "whim" and "errour of the brain," asks why he should roam into foreign countries when there are "knaves and fools enough at home." If the object is to find material for satire, "search all round/ Nor to thy purpose can one spot be found/ Like England." Considering the corruption in the courts, both legal and regal, and the mismanagement of foreign affairs, the poet can muster only an ironically impotent reply, but William Cowper, in The Task (1784), through a similar expression conveys his sincere love for his native land: "England, with all thy faults I love thee still,/ My country!" (Book II, lines 206-207).

No more of this–tho' Truth (the more our shame,
The more our guilt)
. . .
Declaim from morn to night, from night to morn,
Take up the theme anew, when day's new-born,
I hear, and hate–be England what She will,
With all her faults She is my Country still.