St George’s Day images, quotes and poems to celebrate the patron saint

Will you be doing anything for St George’s Day today? (Picture: Getty)

It’s April 23 and you know what that means – St George’s Day has rolled around once again.

It’s widely accepted as the day that St George, the patron saint of England who is famously said to have slayed a dragon back in the day, died back in AD 303.

While St George’s Day isn’t a bank holiday, that doesn’t mean we can’t put our all into marking this traditional day of English pride.

So to celebrate, we’ve put together some of our favorite quotes and poems about England, and a few images to boot.

Quotes for St George’s Day

St George’s flags will be flying today (Picture: Getty Images)

‘The English nation is never so great as in adversity.’ – Benjamin Disraeli

‘What other country…could possibly have come up with place names like Tooting Bec and Farleigh Wallop, or a game like cricket that goes on for three days and never seems to start?’ – Bill Bryson

‘This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.’ – William Shakespeare

‘Saint George he was for England, And before he killed the dragon he drank a pint of English ale out of an English flagon.’ – Gilbert K. Chesterton

The Bard himself was an Englishman after all (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Duncan P Walker)

‘Do we have carjacking in England? No, but thanks for asking. We have people who clean your windscreen against your will…’ – Douglas Adams

St George’s Day poems

England, My England

What have I done for you,
England, my England?
What is there I would not do,
England, my own?
With your glorious austere eyes,
As the Lord were walking near,
Whispering terrible things and dear
As the Song on your bugles blown,
Round the world on your bugles blown!

Where shall the watchful sun,
England, my England,
Match the master-work you’ve done,
England, my own?
When shall he rejoice agen
Such a breed of mighty men
As come forward, one to ten,
To the Song on your bugles blown,
Down the years on your bugles blown?

Ever the faith endures,
England, my England:–
‘Take and break us: we are yours,
England, my own!
Life is good, and joy runs high
Between English earth and sky:
Death is death; but we shall die
To the Song on your bugles blown,
To the stars on your bugles blown!’

They call you proud and hard,
England, my England:
You with worlds to watch and ward,
England, my own!
You whose mail’d hand keeps the keys
Of such teeming destinies,
You could know nor dread nor ease
Were the Song on your bugles blown,
Round the Pit on your bugles blown!

Mother of Ships whose might,
England, my England,
Is the fierce old Sea’s delight,
England, my own,
Chosen daughter of the Lord,
Spouse-in-Chief of the ancient Sword,
There’s the menace of the Word
In the Song on your bugles blown,
Out of heaven on your bugles blown!

By William Ernest Henley

St George slaying the dragon (Picture: Wiki Commons)

Sonnet Xvii. Happy Is England

Happy is England! I could be content
To see no other vegetable than its own;
To feel no other breezes than are blown
Through its tall woods with high romances blent:
Yet do I sometimes feel a languishment
For skies Italian, and an inward groan
To sit upon an Alp as on a throne,
And half forget what world or worldling meant.
Happy is England, sweet her artless daughters;
Enough their simple loveliness for me,
Enough their whitest arms in silence clinging:
Yet do I often warmly burn to see
Beauties of deeper glance, and hear their singing,
And float with them about the summer waters.

By John Keats

Home-Thoughts, from Abroad

Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England—now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray’s edge—
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes up again
The buttercups, the little children’s dower
—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

By Robert Browning

St George’s Day images on social media

MORE : The best countries to visit over the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday

MORE : Who was St George, why is he the patron saint of England, and did he really kill a dragon?

MORE : Who are the patron saints of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland – and why are they different?

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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