This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars
This other Eden, demi-paradise
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in a silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands;
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England...
These marvellous, stirring words are taken from the play 'Richard II' by England's greatest playwright William Shakespeare.
Today is also the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth in 1564. So those of us who are English have two good reasons to celebrate - Happy St George's Day!