When Britain first— at
Heaven's command. Arose — from out the azure main
Refrain: 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:
Still more majestic shalt thou
rise, more dreadful, from each foreign stroke: More dreadful, dreadful,
dreadful from each foreign stroke.
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
To thee belongs the rural
reign; Thy cities— shall with commerce shine:
The Muses, still with freedom
found, shall to— thy happy coast repair: Shall to, shall to, shall to
thy happy coast repair
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:-
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:
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