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Lost quotations

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When the English Learned to Hate | 02-Jun-06

Poem by the title 'When the English Learned to Hate'.

4 comments have been made on this quote. Click here to read them and then add your own!


Do you know this poem? Do you have any clues to help us find it?


Comments:

I can't pin this down but I read it many ears ago. I think it was written during World War I. I thought it included the words "how to", i.e. "learned how to hate"
Arthur Poole

It's one of Kipling's - think it is the last line of the refrain rather than the title - "When the English learned how to [or "began to"] hate".
Jane Wickenden

I recount it being read by Laurence Oliver in the aftermath of the German bombing and destruction of Coventry in 1940. It was shown in "The World at War" series produced by ITV.

BBC 2 showed a programme on Monday, 5th October on this bombing in its Timewatch series, but they did not include Olivier's declaiming of this poem.
E W B

"The poetic origin of the line 'when the English learned to hate' please"?

The line originates from Rudyard Kiplings's poem The Beginnings.


It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late
With long arrears to make good,
When the English began to hate.

They were not easily moved,
They were icy-willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
Ere the English began to hate.

Their voices were even and low,
Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show,
When the English began to hate.

It was not preached to the crowd,
It was not taught by the State.
No man spoke it aloud,
When the English began to hate.

It was not suddenly bred,
It will not swiftly abate,
Through the chill years ahead,
When Time shall count from the date
That the English began to hate.
GEOFFREY BIRD


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