One of the relies here asked:
Tucker, it's something I had marked in my Oxford Dictionary of Quotes. The author, Arthur O'Shaughnessy lived from 1844-1881. Up to the last line it gives the credit to his "Ode". The last line does not make reference to what it is from; I would assume it is from the same piece. I would asusme, also, that is where we got the expression about the movers and shakers of the world. If it's not in a tune, or even if it is, write yer own, eh?
Well, it has been done, you know. In fact, it's been done by a lot of folks, including the following, some of whom are folkies:
Jake Walton (Brit.) Lorraine Lee Hammond Bob Zentz Bob Clayton Edward Elgar
The original poem was 35 stanzas or so long, but Shaunessy had an editor who urged him to cut it down. The Elgar setting (1912) has more "verses" than I learned (it has six or seven), but I've never tried to compare my setting to his.
We did have a Folkslore Society of Greater Washington (FSGW) Getaway (camping weekend) where two invited guests were Lorraine Lee Hammond and Bob Zentz, so we cooked up a workshop called "from poem to song" to compare the three versions. Lorraine did only the first verse, and in 3/4 time; Bob Zentz had the three verses I do, but used the middle verse as a sort of bridge. I use the opening verse as a chorus and have the other two as "verses."
It's a nice set of lyrics, although the longer version gets a bit much in the "flowery" department for contemporary ears. I'll look to see if it's in Digitrad, but I can't do that till I post this. If it's not there, I'll post the lyrics for adding.