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Poems: New and Old
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POEMS: NEW AND OLD

BY HENRY NEWBOLT



LONDON

JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W.

1912



TO

ADMIRAL SIR REGINALD CUSTANCE



{vi}

AUTHOR'S NOTE

This volume forms a complete collection of all my published work in verse from 1897 to 1912. It includes the contents of four previous volumes: Admirals All (1897), The Island Race (1898), The Sailing of the Long-Ships (1902), and Songs of Memory and Hope (1909), together with a number of pieces added to the later editions of the first two of these, and ten poems which have not hitherto appeared in book form—namely, Sailing at Dawn, The Song of the Sou' Wester, The Middle Watch, The Little Admiral, The Song of the Guns at Sea, Farewell, Mors Janua, Gold, The Faun, and Rilloby-Rill.

The volumes above mentioned were dedicated respectively to ANDREW LANG, to ROBERT BRIDGES, to SIR EDWARD GREY, and to LAURENCE BINYON; and I delight to repeat these names once more, in a volume which commemorates also the inspiration of a later friendship.

H. N.



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CONTENTS

PAGE

SONGS OF THE FLEET: I. SAILING AT DAWN . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 II. THE SONG OF THE SOU' WESTER . . . . . . . 3 III. THE MIDDLE WATCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 IV. THE LITTLE ADMIRAL . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 V. THE SONG OF THE GUNS AT SEA . . . . . . . 9 VI. FAREWELL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 ODE FOR TRAFALGAR DAY, 1905 . . . . . . . . . . 12 THE HUNDREDTH YEAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 DRAKE'S DRUM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 THE FIGHTING TEMERAIRE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 ADMIRALS ALL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 SAN STEFANO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 HAWKE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 THE BRIGHT "MEDUSA" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 THE OLD "SUPERB" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 THE QUARTER-GUNNER'S YARN . . . . . . . . . . . 32 NORTHUMBERLAND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 FOR A TRAFALGAR CENOTAPH . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 CRAVEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 MESSMATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 THE DEATH OF ADMIRAL BLAKE . . . . . . . . . . . 42

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PAGE

VAE VICTIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 MINORA SIDERA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 LAUDABUNT ALII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 ADMIRAL DEATH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 HOMEWARD BOUND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 GILLESPIE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 SERINGAPATAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 A BALLAD OF JOHN NICHOLSON . . . . . . . . . . . 61 THE GUIDES AT CABUL, 1879 . . . . . . . . . . . 65 THE GAY GORDONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 HE FELL AMONG THIEVES . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 IONICUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 THE NON-COMBATANT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 SACRAMENTUM SUPREMUM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 CLIFTON CHAPEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 VITAI LAMPADA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 THE VIGIL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 THE SAILING OF THE LONG-SHIPS . . . . . . . . . 82 WAGGON HILL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 THE VOLUNTEER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 THE ONLY SON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 THE GRENADIER'S GOOD-BYE . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 THE SCHOOLFELLOW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 ON SPION KOP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 THE SCHOOL AT WAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 BY THE HEARTH-STONE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 PEACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 APRIL ON WAGGON HILL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 COMMEMORATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97

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PAGE

THE ECHO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 THE BEST SCHOOL OF ALL . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 ENGLAND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 VICTORIA REGINA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 THE KING OF ENGLAND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 THE NILE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 SRAHMANDAZI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 OUTWARD BOUND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 HOPE THE HORNBLOWER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 O PULCHRITUDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 THE FINAL MYSTERY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 IL SANTO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 IN JULY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION . . . . . . . . . 123 WHEN I REMEMBER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 MORS JANUA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 RONDEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 RONDEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 BALADE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 THE LAST WORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 THE VIKING'S SONG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 THE SUFI IN THE CITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 TO EDWARD FITZGERALD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 YATTENDON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 DEVON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 AMONG THE TOMBS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 GOLD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 A SOWER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 THE MOSSROSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

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PAGE

AVE, SOROR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 TO A RIVER IN THE SOUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 ON THE DEATH OF A NOBLE LADY . . . . . . . . . . 145 MIDWAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 AD MATREM DOLOROSAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 VRAIS AMANTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 THE SANGREAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 SIR HUGH THE PALMER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 THE PRESENTATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 THE INHERITANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154 AMORE ALTIERO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156 THE PEDLAR'S SONG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158 BENEDICK'S SONG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 LOVE AND GRIEF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160 EGERIA'S SILENCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 AGAINST OBLIVION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 FOND COUNSEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163 YOUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164 THE WANDERER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165 THE ADVENTURERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166 TO CLARE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 THE RETURN OF SUMMER: AN ECLOGUE . . . . . . . . 169 DREAM-MARKET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173 THE CICALAS: AN IDYLL . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180 THE FAUN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186 FIDELE'S GRASSY TOMB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189 MOONSET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192 A SONG OF EXMOOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194 MASTER AND MAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196

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PAGE

GAVOTTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198 IMOGEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199 NEL MEZZO DEL CAMMIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201 THE INVASION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202 RILLOBY-RILL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204 PEREUNT ET IMPUTANTUR . . . . . . . . . . . . 206 FELIX ANTONIUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208 IRELAND, IRELAND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209 HYMN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210 THE BUILDING OF THE TEMPLE . . . . . . . . . . 212 EPISTLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 216 AN ESSAY ON CRITICISM . . . . . . . . . . . . 220 LE BYRON DE NOS JOURS . . . . . . . . . . . . 225 NOTES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231



O strength divine of Roman days, O spirit of the age of faith, Go with our sons on all their ways, When we long since are dust and wraith.



{1}

POEMS: NEW AND OLD



Songs of the Fleet

I

Sailing at Dawn

One by one the pale stars die before the day now, One by one the great ships are stirring from their sleep, Cables all are rumbling, anchors all a-weigh now, Now the fleet's a fleet again, gliding towards the deep.

Now the fleet's a fleet again, bound upon the old ways, Splendour of the past comes shining in the spray; Admirals of old time, bring us on the bold ways! Souls of all the sea-dogs, lead the line to-day!

Far away behind us town and tower are dwindling, Home becomes a fair dream faded long ago; Infinitely glorious the height of heaven is kindling, Infinitely desolate the shoreless sea below.

Now the fleet's a fleet again, bound upon the old ways, Splendour of the past comes shining in the spray; Admirals of old time, bring us on the bold ways! Souls of all the sea-dogs, lead the line to-day!

{2}

Once again with proud hearts we make the old surrender, Once again with high hearts serve the age to be, Not for us the warm life of Earth, secure and tender, Ours the eternal wandering and warfare of the sea.

Now the fleet's a fleet again, bound upon the old ways, Splendour of the past comes shining in the spray; Admirals of old time, bring us on the bold ways! Souls of all the sea-dogs, lead the line to-day!



{3}

II

The Song of the Sou' Wester

The sun was lost in a leaden sky, And the shore lay under our lee; When a great Sou' Wester hurricane high Came rollicking up the sea. He played with the fleet as a boy with boats Till out for the Downs we ran, And he laugh'd with the roar of a thousand throats At the militant ways of man:

Oh! I am the enemy most of might, The other be who you please! Gunner and guns may all be right, Flags a-flying and armour tight, But I am the fellow you've first to fight— The giant that swings the seas.

A dozen of middies were down below Chasing the X they love, While the table curtseyed long and slow And the lamps were giddy above.

{4}

The lesson was all of a ship and a shot, And some of it may have been true, But the word they heard and never forgot Was the word of the wind that blew:

Oh! I am the enemy most of might, The other be who you please! Gunner and guns may all be right, Flags a-flying and armour tight, But I am the fellow you've first to fight— The giant that swings the seas.

The Middy with luck is a Captain soon, With luck he may hear one day His own big guns a-humming the tune "'Twas in Trafalgar's Bay." But wherever he goes, with friends or foes, And whatever may there befall, He'll hear for ever a voice he knows For ever defying them all:

Oh! I am the enemy most of might, The other be who you please! Gunner and guns may all be right, Flags a-flying and armour tight, But I am the fellow you've first to fight— The giant that swings the seas.



{5}

III

The Middle Watch

In a blue dusk the ship astern Uplifts her slender spars, With golden lights that seem to burn Among the silver stars. Like fleets along a cloudy shore The constellations creep, Like planets on the ocean floor Our silent course we keep.

And over the endless plain, Out of the night forlorn Rises a faint refrain, A song of the day to be born— Watch, oh watch till ye find again Life and the land of morn.

From a dim West to a dark East Our lines unwavering head, As if their motion long had ceased And Time itself were dead.

{6}

Vainly we watch the deep below, Vainly the void above, They died a thousand years ago— Life and the land we love.

But over the endless plain, Out of the night forlorn Rises a faint refrain, A song of the day to be born— Watch, oh watch till ye find again Life and the land of morn.



{7}

IV

The Little Admiral

Stand by to reckon up your battleships Ten, twenty, thirty, there they go. Brag about your cruisers like Leviathans— A thousand men a-piece down below. But here's just one little Admiral We're all of us his brothers and his sons, And he's worth, O he's worth at the very least Double all your tons and all your guns.

Stand by, etc.

See them on the forebridge signalling— A score of men a-hauling hand to hand, And the whole fleet flying like the wild geese Moved by some mysterious command. Where's the mighty will that shows the way to them, The mind that sees ahead so quick and clear? He's there, Sir, walking all alone there— The little man whose voice you never hear.

Stand by, etc.

{8}

There are queer things that only come to sailormen; They're true, but they're never understood; And I know one thing about the Admiral, That I can't tell rightly as I should. I've been with him when hope sank under us— He hardly seemed a mortal like the rest, I could swear that he had stars upon his uniform, And one sleeve pinned across his breast.

Stand by, etc.

Some day we're bound to sight the enemy, He's coming, tho' he hasn't yet a name. Keel to keel and gun to gun he'll challenge us To meet him at the Great Armada game. None knows what may be the end of it, But we'll all give our bodies and our souls To see the little Admiral a-playing him A rubber of the old Long Bowls!

Stand by, etc.



{9}

V

The Song of the Guns at Sea

Oh hear! Oh hear! Across the sullen tide Across the echoing dome horizon-wide What pulse of fear Beats with tremendous boom! What call of instant doom, With thunderstroke of terror and of pride, With urgency that may not be denied, Reverberates upon the heart's own drum Come! . . . Come! . . . for thou must come!

Come forth, O Soul! This is thy day of power. This is the day and this the glorious hour That was the goal Of thy self-conquering strife. The love of child and wife, The fields of Earth and the wide ways of Thought— Did not thy purpose count them all as nought That in this moment thou thyself mayst give And in thy country's life for ever live?

{10}

Therefore rejoice That in thy passionate prime Youth's nobler hope disdained the spoils of Time And thine own choice Fore-earned for thee this day. Rejoice! rejoice to obey In the great hour of life that men call Death The beat that bids thee draw heroic breath, Deep-throbbing till thy mortal heart be dumb Come! . . . Come! . . . the time is come!



{11}

VI

Farewell

Mother, with unbowed head Hear thou across the sea The farewell of the dead, The dead who died for thee. Greet them again with tender words and grave, For, saving thee, themselves they could not save.

To keep the house unharmed Their fathers built so fair, Deeming endurance armed Better than brute despair, They found the secret of the word that saith, "Service is sweet, for all true life is death."

So greet thou well thy dead Across the homeless sea, And be thou comforted Because they died for thee. Far off they served, but now their deed is done For evermore their life and thine are one.



{12}

Ode for Trafalgar Day, 1905

"Partial firing continued until 4.30, when a victory having been reported to the Right Honourable Lord Viscount Nelson, K.B., and Commander-in-Chief, he then died of his wound."—Log of the Victory, October 21, 1805.

England! to-day let fire be in thine eyes And in thy heart the throb of leaping guns; Crown in thy streets the deed that never dies, And tell their fathers' fame to all thy sons! Behold! behold! on that unchanging sea Where day behind Trafalgar rises pale, How dread the storm to be Drifts up with ominous breath Cloud after towering cloud of billowy sail Full charged with thunder and the bolts of death.

Yet when the noon is past, and thy delight, More delicate for these good hundred years, Has drunk the splendour and the sound of fight And the sweet sting of long-since vanished fears, Then, England, come thou down with sterner lips From the bright world of thy substantial power, Forget thy seas, thy ships, And that wide echoing dome To watch the soul of man in his dark hour Redeeming yet his dear lost land of home.

{13}

What place is this? What under-world of pain All shadow-barred with glare of swinging fires? What writhing phantoms of the newly slain? What cries? What thirst consuming all desires? This is the field of battle: not for life, Not for the deeper life that dwells in love, Not for the savour of strife Or the far call of fame, Not for all these the fight: all these above The soul of this man cherished Duty's name.

His steadfast hope from self has turned away, For the Cause only must he still contend: "How goes the day with us? How goes the day?" He craves not victory, but to make an end. Therefore not yet thine hour, O Death: but when The weapons forged against his country's peace Lie broken round him—then Give him the kiss supreme; Then let the tumult of his warfare cease And the last dawn dispel his anguished dream.



{14}

The Hundredth Year

"Drake, and Blake, and Nelson's mighty name."

The stars were faint in heaven That saw the Old Year die, The dream-white mist of Devon Shut in the seaward sky: Before the dawn's unveiling I heard three voices hailing, I saw three ships come sailing With lanterns gleaming high.

The first he cried defiance— A full-mouthed voice and bold— "On God be our reliance, Our hope the Spaniard's gold! With a still, stern ambuscado, With a roaring escalado, We'll sack their Eldorado And storm their dungeon hold!"

Then slowly spake the second— A great sad voice and deep— "When all your gold is reckoned, There is but this to keep:

{15}

To stay the foe from fooling, To learn the heathen schooling, To live and die sea-ruling, And home at last to sleep."

But the third matched in beauty The dawn that flushed afar; "O sons of England, Duty Is England's morning star: Then Fame's eternal splendour Be theirs who well defend her, And theirs who fain would bend her The night of Trafalgar!"



{16}

Drake's Drum

Drake he's in his hammock an' a thousand mile away, (Capten, art tha sleepin' there below?), Slung atween the round shot in Nombre Dios Bay, An' dreamin' arl the time o' Plymouth Hoe. Yarnder lumes the Island, yarnder lie the ships, Wi' sailor lads a dancin' heel-an'-toe, An' the shore-lights flashin', an' the night-tide dashin', He sees et arl so plainly as he saw et long ago.

Drake he was a Devon man, an' ruled the Devon seas, (Capten, art tha sleepin' there below?), Rovin' tho' his death fell, he went wi' heart at ease, An' dreamin' arl the time o' Plymouth Hoe. "Take my drum to England, hang et by the shore, Strike et when your powder's runnin' low; If the Dons sight Devon, I'll quit the port o' Heaven, An' drum them up the Channel as we drummed them long ago."

Drake he's in his hammock till the great Armadas come, (Capten, art tha sleepin' there below?), Slung atween the round shot, listenin' for the drum, An' dreamin' arl the time o' Plymouth Hoe.

{17}

Call him on the deep sea, call him up the Sound, Call him when ye sail to meet the foe; Where the old trade's plyin' an' the old flag flyin' They shall find him ware an' wakin', as they found him long ago!



{18}

The Fighting Temeraire

It was eight bells ringing, For the morning watch was done, And the gunner's lads were singing As they polished every gun. It was eight bells ringing, And the gunner's lads were singing, For the ship she rode a-swinging As they polished every gun.

Oh! til see the linstock lighting, Temeraire! Temeraire! Oh! to hear the round shot biting, Temeraire! Temeraire! Oh! to see the linstock lighting, And to hear the round shot biting, For we're all in love with fighting On the Fighting Temeraire.

It was noontide ringing, And the battle just begun, When the ship her way was winging As they loaded every gun.

{19}

It was noontide ringing, When the ship her way was winging, And the gunner's lads were singing As they loaded every gun.

There'll be many grim and gory, Temeraire! Temeraire! There'll be few to tell the story, Temeraire! Temeraire! There'll be many grim and gory, There'll be few to tell the story, But we'll all be one in glory With the fighting Temeraire.

There's a far bell ringing At the setting of the sun, And a phantom voice is singing Of the great days done. There's a far bell ringing, And a phantom voice is singing Of renown for ever clinging To the great days done.

Now the sunset breezes shiver, Temeraire! Temeraire! And she's fading down the river, Temeraire! Temeraire! Now the sunset breezes shiver, And she's fading down the river, But in England's song for ever She's the Fighting Temeraire.



{20}

Admirals All

Effingham, Grenville, Raleigh, Drake, Here's to the bold and free! Benbow, Collingwood, Byron, Blake, Hail to the Kings of the Sea! Admirals all, for England's sake, Honour be yours and fame! And honour, as long as waves shall break, To Nelson's peerless name!

Admirals all, for England's sake, Honour be yours and fame! And honour, as long as waves shall break, To Nelson's peerless name!

Essex was fretting in Cadiz Bay With the galleons fair in sight; Howard at last must give him his way, And the word was passed to fight. Never was schoolboy gayer than he, Since holidays first began: He tossed his bonnet to wind and sea, And under the guns he ran.

{21}

Drake nor devil nor Spaniard feared, Their cities he put to the sack; He singed his Catholic Majesty's beard, And harried his ships to wrack. He was playing at Plymouth a rubber of bowls When the great Armada came; But he said, "They must wait their turn, good souls," And he stooped, and finished the game.

Fifteen sail were the Dutchmen bold, Duncan he had but two; But he anchored them fast where the Texel shoaled And his colours aloft he flew. "I've taken the depth to a fathom," he cried, "And I'll sink with a right good will, For I know when we're all of us under the tide, My flag will be fluttering still."

Splinters were flying above, below, When Nelson sailed the Sound: "Mark you, I wouldn't be elsewhere now," Said he, "for a thousand pound!" The Admiral's signal bade him fly, But he wickedly wagged his head, He clapped the glass to his sightless eye And "I'm damned if I see it," he said.

Admirals all, they said their say (The echoes are ringing still), Admirals all, they went their way To the haven under the hill.

{22}

But they left us a kingdom none can take, The realm of the circling sea, To be ruled by the rightful sons of Blake And the Rodneys yet to be.

Admirals all, for England's sake, Honour be yours and fame! And honour, as long as waves shall break, To Nelson's peerless name!



{23}

San Stefano

(A BALLAD OF THE BOLD MENELAUS)

It was morning at St. Helen's, in the great and gallant days, And the sea beneath the sun glittered wide, When the frigate set her courses, all a-shimmer in the haze, And she hauled her cable home and took the tide. She'd a right fighting company, three hundred men and more, Nine and forty guns in tackle running free; And they cheered her from the shore for her colours at the fore, When the bold Menelaus put to sea.

She'd a right fighting company, three hundred men and more Nine and forty guns in tackle running free; And they cheered her from the shore for her colours at the fire, When the bold Menelaus put to sea.

She was clear of Monte Cristo, she was heading for the land, When she spied a pennant red and white and blue; They were foemen, and they knew it, and they'd half a league in hand, But she flung aloft her royals and she flew.

{24}

She was nearer, nearer, nearer, they were caught beyond a doubt, But they slipped her, into Orbetello Bay, And the lubbers gave a shout as they paid their cables out, With the guns grinning round them where they lay.

Now Sir Peter was a captain of a famous fighting race, Son and grandson of an admiral was he; And he looked upon the batteries, he looked upon the chase, And he heard the shout that echoed out to sea. And he called across the decks, "Ay! the cheering might be late If they kept it till the Menelaus runs; Bid the master and his mate heave the lead and lay her straight For the prize lying yonder by the guns."

When the summer moon was setting, into Orbetello Bay Came the Menelaus gliding like a ghost; And her boats were manned in silence, and in silence pulled away, And in silence every gunner took his post. With a volley from her broadside the citadel she woke, And they hammered back like heroes all the night; But before the morning broke she had vanished through the smoke With her prize upon her quarter grappled tight.

{25}

It was evening at St. Helen's, in the great and gallant time, And the sky behind the down was flushing far; And the flags were all a-flutter, and the bells were all a-chime, When the frigate cast her anchor off the bar. She'd a right fighting company, three hundred men and more, Nine and forty guns in tackle running free; And they cheered her from the shore for her colours at the fore, When the bold Menelaus came from sea.

She'd a right fighting company, three hundred men and more, Nine and forty guns in tackle running free; And they cheered her from the shore for her colours at the fore, When the bold Menelaus came from sea.



{26}

Hawke

In seventeen hundred and fifty nine, When Hawke came swooping from the West, The French King's Admiral with twenty of the line, Was sailing forth, to sack us, out of Brest. The ports of France were crowded, the quays of France a-hum With thirty thousand soldiers marching to the drum, For bragging time was over and fighting time was come When Hawke came swooping from the West.

'Twas long past noon of a wild November day When Hawke came swooping from the West; He heard the breakers thundering in Quiberon Bay But he flew the flag for battle, line abreast. Down upon the quicksands roaring out of sight Fiercely beat the storm-wind, darkly fell the night, But they took the foe for pilot and the cannon's glare for light When Hawke came swooping from the West.

The Frenchmen turned like a covey down the wind When Hawke came swooping from the West; One he sank with all hands, one he caught and pinned, And the shallows and the storm took the rest.

{27}

The guns that should have conquered us they rusted on the shore, The men that would have mastered us they drummed and marched no more, For England was England, and a mighty brood she bore When Hawke came swooping from the West.



{28}

The Bright Medusa

(1807)

She's the daughter of the breeze, She's the darling of the seas, And we call her, if you please, the bright Medu—sa; From beneath her bosom bare To the snakes among her hair She's a flash o' golden light, the bright Medu—sa.

When the ensign dips above And the guns are all for love, She's as gentle as a dove, the bright Medu—sa; But when the shot's in rack And her forestay flies the Jack, He's a merry man would slight the bright Medu—sa.

When she got the word to go Up to Monte Video, There she found the river low, the bright Medu—sa; So she tumbled out her guns And a hundred of her sons, And she taught the Dons to fight the bright Medu—sa.

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When the foeman can be found With the pluck to cross her ground, First she walks him round and round, the bright Medu—sa; Then she rakes him fore and aft Till he's just a jolly raft, And she grabs him like a kite, the bright Medu—sa.

She's the daughter of the breeze, She's the darling of the seas, And you'll call her, if you please, the bright Medu—sa; For till England's sun be set— And it's not for setting yet— She shall bear her name by right, the bright Medu—sa.



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_The Old _Suberb_

The wind was rising easterly, the morning sky was blue, The Straits before us opened wide and free; We looked towards the Admiral, where high the Peter flew, And all our hearts were dancing like the sea. "The French are gone to Martinique with four-and-twenty sail! The Old Suberb is old and foul and slow, But the French are gone to Martinique, and Nelson's on the trail, And where he goes the Old Suberb must go!"

So Westward ho! for Trinidad and Eastward ho! for Spain, And "Ship ahoy!" a hundred times a day; Round the world if need be, and round the world again, With a lame duck lagging all the way!

The Old Suberb was barnacled and green as grass below, Her sticks were only fit for stirring grog; The pride of all her midshipmen was silent long ago, And long ago they ceased to heave the log.

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Four year out from home she was, and ne'er a week in port, And nothing save the guns aboard her bright; But Captain Keats he knew the game, and swore to share the sport, For he never yet came in too late to fight.

So Westward ho! for Trinidad and Eastward ho! for Spain, And "Ship ahoy!" a hundred times a day; Round the world if need be, and round the world again, With a lame duck lagging all the way!

"Now up, my lads!" the Captain cried, "for sure the case were hard If longest out were first to fall behind. Aloft, aloft with studding sails, and lash them on the yard, For night and day the Trades are driving blind!" So all day long and all day long behind the fleet we crept, And how we fretted none but Nelson guessed; But every night the Old Superb she sailed when others slept, Till we ran the French to earth with all the rest!

Oh, 'twas Westward ho! for Trinidad and Eastward ho! for Spain, And "Ship ahoy!" a hundred times a day; Round the world if need be, and round the world again, With a lame duck lagging all the way!



{32}

The Quarter-Gunner's Yarn

We lay at St. Helen's, and easy she rode With one anchor catted and fresh-water stowed; When the barge came alongside like bullocks we roared, For we knew what we carried with Nelson aboard.

Our Captain was Hardy, the pride of us all, I'll ask for none better when danger shall call; He was hardy by nature and Hardy by name, And soon by his conduct to honour he came.

The third day the Lizard was under our lee, Where the Ajax and Thunderer joined us at sea, But what with foul weather and tacking about, When we sighted the Fleet we were thirteen days out.

The Captains they all came aboard quick enough, But the news that they brought was as heavy as duff; So backward an enemy never was seen, They were harder to come at than Cheeks the Marine.

The lubbers had hare's lugs where seamen have ears, So we stowed all saluting and smothered our cheers, And to humour their stomachs and tempt them to dine, In the offing we showed them but six of the line.

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One morning the topmen reported below The old Agamemnon escaped from the foe. Says Nelson: "My lads, there'll be honour for some, For we're sure of a battle now Berry has come."

"Up hammocks!" at last cried the bo'sun at dawn; The guns were cast loose and the tompions drawn; The gunner was bustling the shot racks to fill, And "All hands to quarters!" was piped with a will.

We now saw the enemy bearing ahead, And to East of them Cape Trafalgar it was said, 'Tis a name we remember from father to son, That the days of old England may never be done.

The Victory led, to her flag it was due, Tho' the Temeraires thought themselves Admirals too; But Lord Nelson he hailed them with masterful grace: "Cap'n Harvey, I'll thank you to keep in your place."

To begin with we closed the Bucentaure alone, An eighty-gun ship and their Admiral's own; We raked her but once, and the rest of the day Like a hospital hulk on the water she lay.

To our battering next the Redoutable struck, But her sharpshooters gave us the worst of the luck: Lord Nelson was wounded, most cruel to tell. "They've done for me, Hardy!" he cried as he fell.

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To the cockpit in silence they carried him past, And sad were the looks that were after him cast; His face with a kerchief he tried to conceal, But we knew him too well from the truck to the keel.

When the Captain reported a victory won, "Thank God!" he kept saying, "my duty I've done." At last came the moment to kiss him good-bye, And the Captain for once had the salt in his eye.

"Now anchor, dear Hardy," the Admiral cried; But before we could make it he fainted and died. All night in the trough of the sea we were tossed, And for want of ground-tackle good prizes were lost.

Then we hauled down the Hag, at the fore it was red, And blue at the mizzen was hoisted instead By Nelson's famed Captain, the pride of each tar, Who fought in the Victory off Cape Trafalgar.



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Northumberland

"The Old and Bold."

When England sets her banner forth And bids her armour shine, She'll not forget the famous North, The lads of moor and Tyne; And when the loving-cup's in hand, And Honour leads the cry, They know not old Northumberland Who'll pass her memory by.

When Nelson sailed for Trafalgar With all his country's best, He held them dear as brothers are, But one beyond the rest. For when the fleet with heroes manned To clear the decks began, The boast of old Northumberland He sent to lead the van.

Himself by Victory's bulwarks stood And cheered to see the sight; "That noble fellow Collingwood, How bold he goes to fight!"

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Love, that the league of Ocean spanned; Heard him as face to face; "What would he give, Northumberland; To share our pride of place?"

The flag that goes the world around And flaps on every breeze Has never gladdened fairer ground Or kinder hearts than these. So when the loving-cup's in hand And Honour leads the cry, They know not old Northumberland Who'll pass her memory by.



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For a Trafalgar Cenotaph

Lover of England, stand awhile and gaze With thankful heart, and lips refrained from praise; They rest beyond the speech of human pride Who served with Nelson and with Nelson died.



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Craven

(MOBILE BAY, 1864)

Over the turret, shut in his iron-clad tower, Craven was conning his ship through smoke and flame; Gun to gun he had battered the fort for an hour, Now was the time for a charge to end the game.

There lay the narrowing channel, smooth and grim, A hundred deaths beneath it, and never a sign; There lay the enemy's ships, and sink or swim The flag was flying, and he was head of the line.

The fleet behind was jamming; the monitor hung Beating the stream; the roar for a moment hushed, Craven spoke to the pilot; slow she swung; Again he spoke, and right for the foe she rushed.

Into the narrowing channel, between the shore And the sunk torpedoes lying in treacherous rank; She turned but a yard too short, a muffled roar, A mountainous wave, and she rolled, righted, and sank.

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Over the manhole, up in the iron-clad tower, Pilot and Captain met as they turned to fly: The hundredth part of a moment seemed an hour, For one could pass to be saved, and one must die.

They stood like men in a dream: Craven spoke, Spoke as he lived and fought, with a Captain's pride, "After you, Pilot:" the pilot woke, Down the ladder he went, and Craven died.

All men praise the deed and the manner, but we— We set it apart from the pride that stoops to the proud, The strength that is supple to serve the strong and free, The grace of the empty hands and promises loud:

Sidney thirsting a humbler need to slake, Nelson waiting his turn for the surgeon's hand, Lucas crushed with chains for a comrade's sake, Outram coveting right before command,

These were paladins, these were Craven's peers, These with him shall be crowned in story and song, Crowned with the glitter of steel and the glimmer of tears, Princes of courtesy, merciful, proud and strong.



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Messmates

He gave us all a good-bye cheerily At the first dawn of day; We dropped him down the side full drearily When the light died away. It's a dead dark watch that he's a-keeping there, And a long, long night that lags a-creeping there, Where the Trades and the tides roll over him And the great ships go by.

He's there alone with green seas rocking him For a thousand miles round; He's there alone with dumb things mocking him, And we're homeward bound. It's a long, lone watch that he's a-keeping there, And a dead cold night that lags a-creeping there, While the months and the years roll over him And the great ships go by.

I wonder if the tramps come near enough As they thrash to and fro, And the battle-ships' bells ring clear enough To be heard down below;

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If through all the lone watch that he's a-keeping there, And the long, cold night that lags a-creeping there, The voices of the sailor-men shall comfort him When the great ships go by.



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The Death of Admiral Blake

(AUGUST 7TH, 1657)

Laden with spoil of the South, fulfilled with the glory of achievement, And freshly crowned with never-dying fame, Sweeping by shores where the names are the names of the victories of England, Across the Bay the squadron homeward came.

Proudly they came, but their pride was the pomp of a funeral at midnight, When dreader yet the lonely morrow looms; Few are the words that are spoken, and faces are gaunt beneath the torchlight That does but darken more the nodding plumes.

Low on the field of his fame, past hope lay the Admiral triumphant, And fain to rest him after all his pain; Yet for the love that he bore to his own land, ever unforgotten, He prayed to see the western hills again.

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Fainter than stars in a sky long gray with the coming of the daybreak, Or sounds of night that fade when night is done, So in the death-dawn faded the splendour and loud renown of warfare, And life of all its longings kept but one.

"Oh! to be there for an hour when the shade draws in beside the hedgerows, And falling apples wake the drowsy noon: Oh! for the hour when the elms grow sombre and human in the twilight, And gardens dream beneath the rising moon.

"Only to look once more on the land of the memories of childhood, Forgetting weary winds and barren foam: Only to bid farewell to the combe and the orchard and the moorland, And sleep at last among the fields of home!"

So he was silently praying, till now, when his strength was ebbing faster, The Lizard lay before them faintly blue; Now on the gleaming horizon the white cliffs laughed along the coast-line, And now the forelands took the shapes they knew.

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There lay the Sound and the Island with green leaves down beside the water, The town, the Hoe, the masts with sunset fired— Dreams! ay, dreams of the dead! for the great heart faltered on the threshold, And darkness took the land his soul desired.



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Vae Victis

Beside the placid sea that mirrored her With the old glory of dawn that cannot die, The sleeping city began to moan and stir, As one that fain from an ill dream would fly; Yet more she feared the daylight bringing nigh Such dreams as know not sunrise, soon or late,— Visions of honour lost and power gone by, Of loyal valour betrayed by factious hate, And craven sloth that shrank from the labour of forging fate.

They knew and knew not, this bewildered crowd That up her streets in silence hurrying passed, What manner of death should make their anguish loud, What corpse across the funeral pyre be cast, For none had spoken it; only, gathering fast As darkness gathers at noon in the sun's eclipse, A shadow of doom enfolded them, vague and vast, And a cry was heard, unfathered of earthly lips, What of the ships, O Carthage! Carthage, what of the ships?"

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They reached the wall, and nowise strange it seemed To find the gates unguarded and open wide; They climbed the shoulder, and meet enough they deemed The black that shrouded the seaward rampart's side And veiled in drooping gloom the turrets' pride; But this was nought, for suddenly down the slope They saw the harbour, and sense within them died; Keel nor mast was there, rudder nor rope; It lay like a sea-hawk's eyry spoiled of life and hope.

Beyond, where dawn was a glittering carpet, rolled From sky to shore on level and endless seas, Hardly their eyes discerned in a dazzle of gold That here in fifties, yonder in twos and threes, The ships they sought, like a swarm of drowning bees By a wanton gust on the pool of a mill-dam hurled, Floated forsaken of life-giving tide and breeze, Their oars broken, their sails for ever furled, For ever deserted the bulwarks that guarded the wealth of the world.

A moment yet, with breathing quickly drawn And hands agrip, the Carthaginian folk Stared in the bright untroubled face of dawn, And strove with vehement heaped denial to choke Their sure surmise of fate's impending stroke;

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Vainly—for even now beneath their gaze A thousand delicate spires of distant smoke Reddened the disc of the sun with a stealthy haze, And the smouldering grief of a nation burst with the kindling blaze.

"O dying Carthage!" so their passion raved, "Would nought but these the conqueror's hate assuage? If these be taken, how may the land be saved Whose meat and drink was empire, age by age?" And bitter memory cursed with idle rage The greed that coveted gold above renown, The feeble hearts that feared their heritage, The hands that cast the sea-kings' sceptre down And left to alien brows their famed ancestral crown.

The endless noon, the endless evening through, All other needs forgetting, great or small, They drank despair with thirst whose torment grew As the hours died beneath that stifling pall. At last they saw the fires to blackness fall One after one, and slowly turned them home, A little longer yet their own to call A city enslaved, and wear the bonds of Rome, With weary hearts foreboding all the woe to come.



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Minora Sidera

(THE DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY)

Sitting at times over a hearth that burns With dull domestic glow, My thought, leaving the book, gratefully turns To you who planned it so.

Not of the great only you deigned to tell— The stars by which we steer— But lights out of the night that flashed, and fell To-night again, are here.

Such as were those, dogs of an elder day, Who sacked the golden ports, And those later who dared grapple their prey Beneath the harbour forts:

Some with flag at the fore, sweeping the world To find an equal fight, And some who joined war to their trade, and hurled Ships of the line in flight.

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Whether their fame centuries long should ring They cared not over-much, But cared greatly to serve God and the king, And keep the Nelson touch;

And fought to build Britain above the tide Of wars and windy fate; And passed content, leaving to us the pride Of lives obscurely great.



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Laudabunt Alii

(AFTER HORACE)

Let others praise, as fancy wills, Berlin beneath her trees, Or Rome upon her seven hills, Or Venice by her seas; Stamboul by double tides embraced, Or green Damascus in the waste.

For me there's nought I would not leave For the good Devon land, Whose orchards down the echoing cleeve Bedewed with spray-drift stand, And hardly bear the red fruit up That shall be next year's cider-cup.

You too, my friend, may wisely mark How clear skies follow rain, And lingering in your own green park Or drilled on Lafian's Plain, Forget not with the festal bowl To soothe at times your weary soul.

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When Drake must bid to Plymouth Hoe Good-bye for many a day, And some were sad that feared to go, And some that dared not stay, Be sure he bade them broach the best And raised his tankard with the rest.

"Drake's luck to all that sail with Drake For promised lands of gold! Brave lads, whatever storms may break, We've weathered worse of old! To-night the loving-cup we'll drain, To-morrow for the Spanish Main!"



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Admiral Death

Boys, are ye calling a toast to-night? (Hear what the sea-wind saith) Fill for a bumper strong and bright, And here's to Admiral Death! He's sailed in a hundred builds o' boat, He's fought in a thousand kinds o' coat, He's the senior flag of all that float, And his name's Admiral Death!

Which of you looks for a service free? (Hear what the sea-wind saith) The rules o' the service are but three When ye sail with Admiral Death. Steady your hand in time o' squalls, Stand to the last by him that falls, And answer clear to the voice that calls, "Ay, ay! Admiral Death!"

How will ye know him among the rest? (Hear what the sea-wind saith) By the glint o' the stars that cover his breast Ye may find Admiral Death.

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By the forehead grim with an ancient scar, By the voice that rolls like thunder far, By the tenderest eyes of all that are, Ye may know Admiral Death.

Where are the lads that sailed before? (Hear what the sea-wind saith) Their bones are white by many a shore, They sleep with Admiral Death. Oh! but they loved him, young and old, For he left the laggard, and took the bold, And the fight was fought, and the story's told, And they sleep with Admiral Death.



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Homeward Bound

After long labouring in the windy ways, On smooth and shining tides Swiftly the great ship glides, Her storms forgot, her weary watches past; Northward she glides, and through the enchanted haze Faint on the verge her far hope dawns at last.

The phantom sky-line of a shadowy down, Whose pale white cliffs below Through sunny mist aglow Like noon-day ghosts of summer moonshine gleam— Soft as old sorrow, bright as old renown, There lies the home of all our mortal dream.



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Gillespie

Riding at dawn, riding alone, Gillespie left the town behind; Before he turned by the Westward road A horseman crossed him, staggering blind.

"The Devil's abroad in false Vellore, The Devil that stabs by night," he said, "Women and children, rank and file, Dying and dead, dying and dead."

Without a word, without a groan, Sudden and swift Gillespie turned, The blood roared in his ears like fire, Like fire the road beneath him burned.

He thundered back to Arcot gate, He thundered up through Arcot town, Before he thought a second thought In the barrack yard he lighted down.

"Trumpeter, sound for the Light Dragoons, Sound to saddle and spur," he said; "He that is ready may ride with me, And he that can may ride ahead."

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Fierce and fain, fierce and fain, Behind him went the troopers grim, They rode as ride the Light Dragoons But never a man could ride with him.

Their rowels ripped their horses' sides, Their hearts were red with a deeper goad, But ever alone before them all Gillespie rode, Gillespie rode.

Alone he came to false Vellore, The walls were lined, the gates were barred; Alone he walked where the bullets hit, And called above to the Sergeant's Guard.

"Sergeant, Sergeant, over the gate, Where are your officers all?" he said; Heavily came the Sergeant's voice, "There are two living and forty dead."

"A rope, a rope," Gillespie cried: They bound their belts to serve his need; There was not a rebel behind the wall But laid his barrel and drew his bead.

There was not a rebel among them all But pulled his trigger and cursed his aim, For lightly swung and rightly swung Over the gate Gillespie came.

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He dressed the line, he led the charge, They swept the wall like a stream in spate, And roaring over the roar they heard The galloper guns that burst the gate.

Fierce and fain, fierce and fain, The troopers rode the reeking flight: The very stones remember still The end of them that stab by night.

They've kept the tale a hundred years, They'll keep the tale a hundred more: Riding at dawn, riding alone, Gillespie came to false Vellore.



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Seringapatam

"The sleep that Tippoo Sahib sleeps Heeds not the cry of man; The faith that Tippoo Sahib keeps No judge on earth may scan; He is the lord of whom ye hold Spirit and sense and limb, Fetter and chain are all ye gain Who dared to plead with him."

Baird was bonny and Baird was young, His heart was strong as steel, But life and death in the balance hung, For his wounds were ill to heal. "Of fifty chains the Sultan gave We have filled but forty-nine: We dare not fail of the perfect tale For all Golconda's mine."

That was the hour when Lucas first Leapt to his long renown; Like summer rains his anger burst, And swept their scruples down.

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"Tell ye the lord to whom ye crouch, His fetters bite their fill: To save your oath I'll wear them both, And step the lighter still."

The seasons came, the seasons passed, They watched their fellows die; But still their thought was forward cast, Their courage still was high. Through tortured days and fevered nights Their limbs alone were weak, And year by year they kept their cheer, And spoke as freemen speak.

But once a year, on the fourth of June, Their speech to silence died, And the silence beat to a soundless tune And sang with a wordless pride; Till when the Indian stars were bright, And bells at home would ring, To the fetters clank they rose and drank "England! God save the King!"

The years came, and the years went, The wheel full-circle rolled; The tyrant's neck must yet be bent, The price of blood be told: The city yet must hear the roar Of Baird's avenging guns, And see him stand with lifted hand By Tippoo Sahib's sons.

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The lads were bonny, the lads were young, But he claimed a pitiless debt; Life and death in the balance hung. They watched it swing and set. They saw him search with sombre eyes, They knew the place he sought; They saw him feel for the hilted steel, They bowed before his thought.

But he—he saw the prison there In the old quivering heat, Where merry hearts had met despair And died without defeat; Where feeble hands had raised the cup For feebler lips to drain, And one had worn with smiling scorn His double load of pain.

"The sleep that Tippoo Sahib sleeps Hears not the voice of man; The faith that Tippoo Sahib keeps No earthly judge may scan; For all the wrong your father wrought Your father's sons are free; Where Lucas lay no tongue shall say That Mercy bound not me."



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A Ballad of John Nicholson

It fell in the year of Mutiny, At darkest of the night, John Nicholson by Jalandhar came, On his way to Delhi fight.

And as he by Jalaandhar came He thought what he must do, And he sent to the Rajah fair greeting, To try if he were true.

"God grant your Highness length of days, And friends when need shall be; And I pray you send your Captains hither, That they may speak with me."

On the morrow through Jalandhar town The Captains rode in state; They came to the house of John Nicholson And stood before the gate.

The chief of them was Mehtab Singh, He was both proud and sly; His turban gleamed with rubies red, He held his chin full high.

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He marked his fellows how they put Their shoes from off their feet; "Now wherefore make ye such ado These fallen lords to greet?

"They have ruled us for a hundred years, In truth I know not how, But though they be fain of mastery, They dare not claim it now."

Right haughtily before them all The durbar hall he trod, With rubies red his turban gleamed, His feet with pride were shod.

They had not been an hour together, A scanty hour or so, When Mehtab Singh rose in his place And turned about to go.

Then swiftly came John Nicholson Between the door and him, With anger smouldering in his eyes That made the rubies dim.

"You are overhasty, Mehtab Singh,"— Oh, but his voice was low! He held his wrath with a curb of iron, That furrowed cheek and brow.

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"You are overhasty, Mehtab Singh, When that the rest are gone, I have a word that may not wait To speak with you alone."

The Captains passed in silence forth And stood the door behind; To go before the game was played Be sure they had no mind.

But there within John Nicholson Turned him on Mehtab Singh, "So long as the soul is in my body You shall not do this thing.

"Have ye served us for a hundred years And yet ye know not why? We brook no doubt of our mastery, We rule until we die.

"Were I the one last Englishman Drawing the breath of life, And you the master-rebel of all That stir this land to strife—

"Were I," he said, "but a Corporal, And you a Rajput King, So long as the soul was in my body You should not do this thing.

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"Take off, take off those shoes of pride, Carry them whence they came; Your Captains saw your insolence And they shall see your shame."

When Mehtab Singh came to the door His shoes they burned his hand, For there in long and silent lines He saw the Captains stand.

When Mehtab Singh rode from the gate His chin was on his breast: The Captains said, "When the strong command Obedience is best."



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The Guides at Cabul

(1879)

Sons of the Island Race, wherever ye dwell, Who speak of your fathers' battles with lips that burn, The deed of an alien legion hear me tell, And think not shame from the hearts ye tamed to learn, When succour shall fail and the tide for a season turn, To fight with a joyful courage, a passionate pride, To die at the last as the Guides at Cabul died.

For a handful of seventy men in a barrack of mud, Foodless, waterless, dwindling one by one, Answered a thousand yelling for English blood With stormy volleys that swept them gunner from gun, And charge on charge in the glare of the Afghan sun, Till the walls were shattered wherein they crouched at bay, And dead or dying half of the seventy lay.

Twice they had taken the cannon that wrecked their hold, Twice toiled in vain to drag it back, Thrice they toiled, and alone, wary and bold, Whirling a hurricane sword to scatter the rack, Hamilton, last of the English, covered their track. "Never give in!" he cried, and he heard them shout, And grappled with death as a man that knows not doubt.

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And the Guides looked down from their smouldering barrack again, And behold, a banner of truce, and a voice that spoke: "Come, for we know that the English all are slain, We keep no feud with men of a kindred folk; Rejoice with us to be free of the conqueror's yoke," Silence fell for a moment, then was heard A sound of laughter and scorn, and an answering word.

"Is it we or the lords we serve who have earned this wrong, That ye call us to flinch from the battle they bade us fight? We that live—do ye doubt that our hands are strong? They that have fallen—ye know that their blood was bright! Think ye the Guides will barter for lust of the light The pride of an ancient people in warfare bred, Honour or comrades living, and faith to the dead?"

Then the joy that spurs the warrior's heart To the last thundering gallop and sheer leap Came on the men of the Guides; they flung apart The doors not all their valour could longer keep; They dressed their slender line; they breathed deep, And with never a foot lagging or head bent, To the clash and clamour and dust of death they went.



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The Gay Gordons

(DARGAI, OCTOBER 20TH, 1897)

Who's for the Gathering, who's for the Fair? (Gay goes the Gordon to a fight) The bravest of the brave are at dead-lock there, (Highlanders! march! by the right!) There are bullets by the hundred buzzing in the air; There are bonny lads lying on the hillside bare; But the Gordons know what the Gordons dare When they hear the pipers playing!

The happiest English heart to-day (Gay goes the Gordon to a fight) Is the heart of the Colonel, hide it as he may (Steady there! steady on the right!) He sees his work and he sees the way, He knows his time and the word to say, And he's thinking of the tune that the Gordons play When he sets the pipers playing!

Rising, roaring, rushing like the tide, (Gay goes the Gordon to a fight) They're up through the fire-zone, not to be denied; (Bayonets! and charge! by the right!)

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Thirty bullets straight where the rest went wide, And thirty lads are lying on the bare hillside; But they passed in the hour of the Gordons' pride, To the skirl of the pipers' playing.



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He Fell Among Thieves

"Ye have robbed," said he, "ye have slaughtered and made an end, Take your ill-got plunder, and bury the dead: What will ye more of your guest and sometime friend?" "Blood for our blood," they said.

He laughed: "If one may settle the score for five, I am ready; but let the reckoning stand till day: I have loved the sunlight as dearly as any alive." "You shall die at dawn," said they.

He flung his empty revolver down the slope, He climbed alone to the Eastward edge of the trees; All night long in a dream untroubled of hope He brooded, clasping his knees.

He did not hear the monotonous roar that fills The ravine where the Yassin river sullenly flows; He did not see the starlight on the Laspur hills, Or the far Afghan snows.

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He saw the April noon on his books aglow, The wistaria trailing in at the window wide; He heard his father's voice from the terrace below Calling him down to ride.

He saw the gray little church across the park, The mounds that hide the loved and honoured dead; The Norman arch, the chancel softly dark, The brasses black and red.

He saw the School Close, sunny and green, The runner beside him, the stand by the parapet wall, The distant tape, and the crowd roaring between His own name over all.

He saw the dark wainscot and timbered roof, The long tables, and the faces merry and keen; The College Eight and their trainer dining aloof, The Dons on the dais serene.

He watched the liner's stem ploughing the foam, He felt her trembling speed and the thrash of her screw; He heard her passengers' voices talking of home, He saw the flag she flew.

And now it was dawn. He rose strong on his feet, And strode to his ruined camp below the wood; He drank the breath of the morning cool and sweet; His murderers round him stood.

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Light on the Laspur hills was broadening fast, The blood-red snow-peaks chilled to a dazzling white: He turned, and saw the golden circle at last, Cut by the Eastern height.

"O glorious Life, Who dwellest in earth and sun, I have lived, I praise and adore Thee." A sword swept.

Over the pass the voices one by one Faded, and the hill slept.



{72}

Ionicus

I live—I am old—I return to the ground— Blow trumpets! and still I can dream to the sound. WILLIAM CORY.

With failing feet and shoulders bowed Beneath the weight of happier days, He lagged among the heedless crowd, Or crept along suburban ways. But still through all his heart was young, His mood a joy that nought could mar, A courage, a pride, a rapture, sprung Of the strength and splendour of England's war.

From ill-requited toil he turned To ride with Picton and with Pack, Among his grammars inly burned To storm the Afghan mountain-track. When midnight chimed, before Quebec He watched with Wolfe till the morning star; At noon he saw from Victory's deck The sweep and splendour of England's war.

{73}

Beyond the book his teaching sped, He left on whom he taught the trace Of kinship with the deathless dead, And faith in all the Island Race. He passed: his life a tangle seemed, His age from fame and power was far; But his heart was high to the end, and dreamed Of the sound and splendour of England's war.



{74}

The Non-Combatant

Among a race high-handed, strong of heart, Sea-rovers, conquerors, builders in the waste, He had his birth; a nature too complete, Eager and doubtful, no man's soldier sworn And no man's chosen captain; born to fail, A name without an echo: yet he too Within the cloister of his narrow days Fulfilled the ancestral rites, and kept alive The eternal fire; it may be, not in vain; For out of those who dropped a downward glance Upon the weakling huddled at his prayers, Perchance some looked beyond him, and then first Beheld the glory, and what shrine it filled, And to what Spirit sacred: or perchance Some heard him chanting, though but to himself, The old heroic names: and went their way: And hummed his music on the march to death.



{75}

Sacramentum Supremum

MUKDEN, MARCH 6TH, 1905

Ye that with me have fought and failed and fought To the last desperate trench of battle's crest, Not yet to sleep, not yet; our work is nought; On that last trench the fate of all may rest, Draw near, my friends; and let your thoughts be high; Great hearts are glad when it is time to give; Life is no life to him that dares not die, And death no death to him that dares to live.

Draw near together; none be last or first; We are no longer names, but one desire; With the same burning of the soul we thirst, And the same wine to-night shall quench our fire. Drink! to our fathers who begot us men, To the dead voices that are never dumb; Then to the land of all our loves, and then To the long parting, and the age to come.



{76}

Clifton Chapel

This is the Chapel: here, my son, Your father thought the thoughts of youth, And heard the words that one by one The touch of Life has turned to truth. Here in a day that is not far, You too may speak with noble ghosts Of manhood and the vows of war You made before the Lord of Hosts.

To set the cause above renown, To love the game beyond the prize, To honour, while you strike him down, The foe that comes with fearless eyes; To count the life of battle good, And dear the land that gave you birth, And dearer yet the brotherhood That binds the brave of all the earth—

My son, the oath is yours; the end Is His, Who built the world of strife, Who gave His children Pain for friend, And Death for surest hope of life.

{77}

To-day and here the fight's begun, Of the great fellowship you're free; Henceforth the School and you are one, And what You are, the race shall be.

God send you fortune: yet be sure, Among the lights that gleam and pass, You'll live to follow none more pure Than that which glows on yonder brass. "Que procul hinc," the legend's writ,— The frontier-grave is far away— "Qui ante diem periit: Sed miles, sed pro patria."



{78}

Vitai Lampada

There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night— Ten to make and the match to win— A bumping pitch and a blinding light, An hour to play and the last man in. And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat, Or the selfish hope of a season's fame, But his Captain's hand on his shoulder smote— "Play up! play up! and play the game!"

The sand of the desert is sodden red,— Red with the wreck of a square that broke;— The Gatling's jammed and the Colonel dead, And the regiment blind with dust and smoke. The river of death has brimmed his banks, And England's far, and Honour a name, But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks: "Play up! play up! and play the game!"

This is the word that year by year, While in her place the School is set, Every one of her sons must hear, And none that hears it dare forget.

{79}

This they all with a joyful mind Bear through life like a torch in flame, And falling fling to the host behind— "Play up! play up! and play the game!"



{80}

The Vigil

England! where the sacred flame Burns before the inmost shrine, Where the lips that love thy name Consecrate their hopes and thine, Where the banners of thy dead Weave their shadows overhead, Watch beside thine arms to-night, Pray that God defend the Right.

Think that when to-morrow comes War shall claim command of all, Thou must hear the roll of drums, Thou must hear the trumpet's call. Now before they silence ruth, Commune with the voice of truth; England! on thy knees to-night Pray that God defend the Right.

Hast thou counted up the cost, What to foeman, what to friend? Glory sought is Honour lost, How should this be knighthood's end?

{81}

Know'st thou what is Hatred's meed? What the surest gain of Greed? England! wilt thou dare to-night Pray that God defend the Right?

Single-hearted, unafraid, Hither all thy heroes came, On this altar's steps were laid Gordon's life and Outram's fame. England! if thy will be yet By their great example set, Here beside thine arms to-night Pray that God defend the Right.

So shalt thou when morning comes Rise to conquer or to fall, Joyful hear the rolling drums, Joyful hear the trumpets call. Then let Memory tell thy heart; "England! what thou wert, thou art!" Gird thee with thine ancient might, Forth! and God defend the Right!



{82}

The Sailing of the Long-ships

(OCTOBER, 1899)

They saw the cables loosened, they saw the gangways cleared, They heard the women weeping, they heard the men that cheered; Far off, far off, the tumult faded and died away, And all alone the sea-wind came singing up the Bay.

"I came by Cape St. Vincent, I came by Trafalgar, I swept from Torres Vedras to golden Vigo Bar, I saw the beacons blazing that fired the world with light When down their ancient highway your fathers passed to fight.

"O race of tireless fighters, flushed with a youth renewed, Right well the wars of Freedom befit the Sea-kings' brood; Yet as ye go forget not the fame of yonder shore, The fame ye owe your fathers and the old time before.

"Long-suffering were the Sea-kings, they were not swift to kill, But when the sands had fallen they waited no man's will;

{83}

Though all the world forbade them, they counted not nor cared, They weighed not help or hindrance, they did the thing they dared.

"The Sea-kings loved not boasting, they cursed not him that cursed, They honoured all men duly, and him that faced them, first; They strove and knew not hatred, they smote and toiled to save, They tended whom they vanquished, they praised the fallen brave.

"Their fame's on Torres Vedras, their fame's on Vigo Bar, Far-flashed to Cape St. Vincent it burns from Trafalgar; Mark as ye go the beacons that woke the world with light When down their ancient highway your fathers passed to fight."



{84}

Waggon Hill

Drake in the North Sea grimly prowling, Treading his dear Revenge's deck, Watched, with the sea-dogs round him growling, Galleons drifting wreck by wreck. "Fetter and Faith for England's neck, Faggot and Father, Saint and chain,— Yonder the Devil and all go howling, Devon, O Devon, in wind and rain!"

Drake at the last off Nombre lying, Knowing the night that toward him crept, Gave to the sea-dogs round him crying This for a sign before he slept:— "Pride of the West! What Devon hath kept Devon shall keep on tide or main; Call to the storm and drive them flying, Devon, O Devon, in wind and rain!"

Valour of England gaunt and whitening, Far in a South land brought to bay,

{85}

Locked in a death-grip all day tightening, Waited the end in twilight gray. Battle and storm and the sea-dog's way Drake from his long rest turned again, Victory lit thy steel with lightning, Devon, O Devon, in wind and rain!



{86}

The Volunteer

"He leapt to arms unbidden, Unneeded, over-bold; His face by earth is hidden, His heart in earth is cold.

"Curse on the reckless daring That could not wait the call, The proud fantastic bearing That would be first to fall!"

O tears of human passion, Blur not the image true; This was not folly's fashion, This was the man we knew.



{87}

The Only Son

O bitter wind toward the sunset blowing, What of the dales to-night? In yonder gray old hall what fires are glowing, What ring of festal light?

"In the great window as the day was dwindling I saw an old man stand; His head was proudly held and his eyes kindling, But the list shook in his hand."

O wind of twilight, was there no word uttered, No sound of joy or wail? "'A great fight and a good death,' he muttered; 'Trust him, he would not fail.'"

What of the chamber dark where she was lying For whom all life is done? "Within her heart she rocks a dead child, crying 'My son, my little son.'"



{88}

The Grenadier's Good-Bye

"When Lieutenant Murray fell, the only words he spoke were, Forward, Grenadiers!'"—Press Telegram.

Here they halted, here once more Hand from hand was rent; Here his voice above the roar Rang, and on they went. Yonder out of sight they crossed, Yonder died the cheers; One word lives where all is lost— "Forward, Grenadiers!"

This alone he asked of fame, This alone of pride; Still with this he faced the flame, Answered Death, and died. Crest of battle sunward tossed, Song of the marching years, This shall live though all be lost— "Forward, Grenadiers!"



{89}

The Schoolfellow

Our game was his but yesteryear; We wished him back; we could not know The selfsame hour we missed him here He led the line that broke the foe.

Blood-red behind our guarded posts Sank as of old the dying day; The battle ceased; the mingled hosts Weary and cheery went their way:

"To-morrow well may bring," we said, "As fair a fight, as clear a sun." Dear lad, before the word was sped, For evermore thy goal was won.



{90}

On Spion Kop

Foremost of all on battle's fiery steep Here VERTUE fell, and here he sleeps his sleep.* A fairer name no Roman ever gave To stand sole monument on Valour's grave.



* Major N. H. Vertue, of the Buffs, Brigade-Major to General Woodgate, was buried where he fell, on the edge of Spion Kop, in front of the British position.



{91}

The School at War

All night before the brink of death In fitful sleep the army lay, For through the dream that stilled their breath Too gauntly glared the coming day.

But we, within whose blood there leaps The fulness of a life as wide As Avon's water where he sweeps Seaward at last with Severn's tide,

We heard beyond the desert night The murmur of the fields we knew, And our swift souls with one delight Like homing swallows Northward flew.

We played again the immortal games, And grappled with the fierce old friends, And cheered the dead undying names, And sang the song that never ends;

Till, when the hard, familiar bell Told that the summer night was late, Where long ago we said farewell We said farewell by the old gate.

{92}

"O Captains unforgot," they cried, "Come you again or come no more, Across the world you keep the pride, Across the world we mark the score."



{93}

By the Hearth-Stone

By the hearth-stone She sits alone, The long night bearing: With eyes that gleam Into the dream Of the firelight staring.

Low and more low The dying glow Burns in the embers; She nothing heeds And nothing needs— Only remembers.



{94}

Peace

(1902)

No more to watch by Night's eternal shore, With England's chivalry at dawn to ride; No more defeat, faith, victory—O! no more A cause on earth for which we might have died.



{95}

April on Waggon Hill

Lad, and can you rest now, There beneath your hill? Your hands are on your breast now, But is your heart so still? 'Twas the right death to die, lad, A gift without regret, But unless truth's a lie, lad, You dream of Devon yet.

Ay, ay, the year's awaking, The fire's among the ling, The beechen hedge is breaking, The curlew's on the wing; Primroses are out, lad, On the high banks of Lee, And the sun stirs the trout, lad, From Brendon to the sea.

I know what's in your heart, lad,— The mare he used to hunt— And her blue market-cart, lad, With posies tied in front—

{96}

We miss them from the moor road, They're getting old to roam, The road they're on's a sure road And nearer, lad, to home.

Your name, the name they cherish? 'Twill fade, lad, 'tis true: But stone and all may perish With little loss to you. While fame's fame you're Devon, lad, The Glory of the West; Till the roll's called in heaven, lad, You may well take your rest.



{97}

Commemoration

I sat by the granite pillar, and sunlight fell Where the sunlight fell of old, And the hour was the hour my heart remembered well, And the sermon rolled and rolled As it used to roll when the place was still unhaunted, And the strangest tale in the world was still untold.

And I knew that of all this rushing of urgent sound That I so clearly heard, The green young forest of saplings clustered round Was heeding not one word: Their heads were bowed in a still serried patience Such as an angel's breath could never have stirred.

For some were already away to the hazardous pitch, Or lining the parapet wall, And some were in glorious battle, or great and rich, Or throned in a college hall: And among the rest was one like my own young phantom, Dreaming for ever beyond my utmost call.

{98}

"O Youth," the preacher was crying, "deem not thou Thy life is thine alone; Thou bearest the will of the ages, seeing how They built thee bone by bone, And within thy blood the Great Age sleeps sepulchred Till thou and thine shall roll away the stone.

"Therefore the days are coming when thou shalt burn With passion whitely hot; Rest shall be rest no more; thy feet shall spurn All that thy hand hath got; And One that is stronger shall gird thee, and lead thee swiftly Whither, O heart of Youth, thou wouldest not."

And the School passed; and I saw the living and dead Set in their seats again, And I longed to hear them speak of the word that was said, But I knew that I longed in vain. And they stretched forth their hands, and the wind of the spirit took them Lightly as drifted leaves on an endless plain.



{99}

The Echo

OF A BALLAD SUNG BY H. PLUNKET GREENE TO HIS OLD SCHOOL

Twice three hundred boys were we, Long ago, long ago, Where the Downs look out to the Severn Sea. Clifton for aye! We held by the game and hailed the team, For many could play where few could dream. City of Song shall stand alway.

Some were for profit and some for pride, Long ago, long ago, Some for the flag they lived and died. Clifton for aye! The work of the world must still be done, And minds are many though truth be one. City of Song shall stand alway.

But a lad there was to his fellows sang, Long ago, long ago, And soon the world to his music rang. Clifton for aye!

{100}

Follow your Captains, crown your Kings, But what will ye give to the lad that sings? City of Song shall stand alway.

For the voice ye hear is the voice of home, Long ago, long ago, And the voice of Youth with the world to roam. Clifton for aye! The voice of passion and human tears, And the voice of the vision that lights the years. City of Song shall stand alway.



{101}

The Best School of All

It's good to see the School we knew, The land of youth and dream, To greet again the rule we knew Before we took the stream: Though long we've missed the sight of her, Our hearts may not forget; We've lost the old delight of her, We keep her honour yet.

We'll honour yet the School we knew, The best School of all: We'll honour yet the rule we knew, Till the last bell call. For, working days or holidays, And glad or melancholy days, They were great days and jolly days At the best School of all.

The stars and sounding vanities That half the crowd bewitch, What are they but inanities To him that treads the pitch?

{102}

And where's the wealth, I'm wondering, Could buy the cheers that roll When the last charge goes thundering Beneath the twilight goal?

The men that tanned the hide of us, Our daily foes and friends, They shall not lose their pride of us, Howe'er the journey ends. Their voice, to us who sing of it, No more its message bears, But the round world shall ring of it And all we are be theirs.

To speak of Fame a venture is, There's little here can bide, But we may face the centuries, And dare the deepening tide: For though the dust that's part of us To dust again be gone, Yet here shall beat the heart of us— The School we handed on!

We'll honour yet the School we knew, The best School of all: We'll honour yet the rule we knew. Till the last bell call. For, working days or holidays, And glad or melancholy days, They were great days and jolly days At the best School of all.



{103}

England

Praise thou with praise unending The Master of the Wine; To all their portions sending Himself he mingled thine:

The sea-born flush of morning, The sea-born hush of night, The East wind comfort scorning, And the North wind driving right:

The world for gain and giving, The game for man and boy, The life that joys in living, The faith that lives in joy.



{104}

Victoria Regina

(JUNE 21ST, 1897*)

A thousand years by sea and land Our race hath served the island kings, But not by custom's dull command To-day with song her Empire rings:

Not all the glories of her birth, Her armed renown and ancient throne, Could make her less the child of earth Or give her hopes beyond our own:

But stayed on faith more sternly proved And pride than ours more pure and deep, She loves the land our fathers loved And keeps the fame our sons shall keep.



* These lines, with music by Dr. Lloyd, formed part of the Cycle of Song offered to Queen Victoria, of blessed and glorious memory, in celebration of her second Jubilee.



{105}

The King of England

(JUNE 24TH, 1902)

In that eclipse of noon when joy was hushed Like the bird's song beneath unnatural night, And Terror's footfall in the darkness crushed The rose imperial of our delight, Then, even then, though no man cried "He comes," And no man turned to greet him passing there, With phantom heralds challenging renown And silent-throbbing drums I saw the King of England, hale and fair, Ride out with a great train through London town.

Unarmed he rode, but in his ruddy shield The lions bore the dint of many a lance, And up and down his mantle's azure field Were strewn the lilies plucked in famous France. Before him went with banner floating wide The yeoman breed that served his honour best, And mixed with these his knights of noble blood; But in the place of pride His admirals in billowy lines abreast Convoyed him close like galleons on the flood.

{106}

Full of a strength unbroken showed his face And his brow calm with youth's unclouded dawn, But round his lips were lines of tenderer grace Such as no hand but Time's hath ever drawn. Surely he knew his glory had no part In dull decay, nor unto Death must bend, Yet surely too of lengthening shadows dreamed With sunset in his heart, So brief his beauty now, so near the end, And now so old and so immortal seemed.

O King among the living, these shall hail Sons of thy dust that shall inherit thee: O King of men that die, though we must fail Thy life is breathed from thy triumphant sea. O man that servest men by right of birth, Our hearts' content thy heart shall also keep, Thou too with us shalt one day lay thee down In our dear native earth, Full sure the King of England, while we sleep, For ever rides abroad through London town.



{107}

The Nile

Out of the unknown South, Through the dark lands of drouth, Far wanders ancient Nile in slumber gliding: Clear-mirrored in his dream The deeds that haunt his stream Flash out and fade like stars in midnight sliding. Long since, before the life of man Rose from among the lives that creep, With Time's own tide began That still mysterious sleep, Only to cease when Time shall reach the eternal deep.

From out his vision vast The early gods have passed, They waned and perished with the faith that made them; The long phantasmal line Of Pharaohs crowned divine Are dust among the dust that once obeyed them. Their land is one mute burial mound, Save when across the drifted years Some chant of hollow sound, Some triumph blent with tears, From Memnon's lips at dawn wakens the desert meres.

{108}

O Nile, and can it be No memory dwells with thee Of Grecian lore and the sweet Grecian singer? The legions' iron tramp, The Goths' wide-wandering camp, Had these no fame that by thy shore might linger? Nay, then must all be lost indeed, Lost too the swift pursuing might That cleft with passionate speed Aboukir's tranquil night, And shattered in mid-swoop the great world-eagle's flight.

Yet have there been on earth Spirits of starry birth, Whose splendour rushed to no eternal setting: They over all endure, Their course through all is sure, The dark world's light is still of their begetting. Though the long past forgotten lies, Nile! in thy dream remember him, Whose like no more shall rise Above our twilight's rim, Until the immortal dawn shall make all glories dim.

For this man was not great By gold or kingly state, Or the bright sword, or knowledge of earth's wonder; But more than all his race He saw life face to face, And heard the still small voice above the thunder.

{109}

O river, while thy waters roll By yonder vast deserted tomb, There, where so clear a soul So shone through gathering doom, Thou and thy land shall keep the tale of lost Khartoum.



{110}

Srahmandazi

Deep embowered beside the forest river, Where the flame of sunset only falls, Lapped in silence lies the House of Dying, House of them to whom the twilight calls.

There within when day was near to ending, By her lord a woman young and strong, By his chief a songman old and stricken Watched together till the hour of song.

"O my songman, now the bow is broken, Now the arrows one by one are sped, Sing to me the song of Srahmandazi, Srahmandazi, home of all the dead."

Then the songman, flinging wide his songnet, On the last token laid his master's hand, While he sang the song of Srahmandazi, None but dying men can understand.

"Yonder sun that fierce and fiery-hearted Marches down the sky to vanish soon, At the self-same hour in Srahmandazi Rises pallid like the rainy moon.

{111}

"There he sees the heroes by their river, Where the great fish daily upward swim; Yet they are but shadows hunting shadows, Phantom fish in waters drear and dim.

"There he sees the kings among their headmen, Women weaving, children playing games; Yet they are but shadows ruling shadows, Phantom folk with dim forgotten names.

"Bid farewell to all that most thou lovest, Tell thy heart thy living life is done; All the days and deeds of Srahmandazi Are not worth an hour of yonder sun."

Dreamily the chief from out the songnet Drew his hand and touched the woman's head; "Know they not, then, love in Srahmandazi? Has a king no bride among the dead?"

Then the songman answered, "O my master, Love they know, but none may learn it there; Only souls that reach that land together Keep their troth and find the twilight fair.

"Thou art still a king, and at thy passing By thy latest word must all abide: If thou willest, here am I, thy songman; If thou lovest, here is she, thy bride."

{112}

Hushed and dreamy lay the House of Dying, Dreamily the sunlight upward failed, Dreamily the chief on eyes that loved him Looked with eyes the coming twilight veiled.

Then he cried, "My songman, I am passing; Let her live, her life is but begun; All the days and nights of Srahmandazi Are not worth an hour of yonder sun."

Yet, when there within the House of Dying The last silence held the sunset air, Not alone he came to Srahmandazi, Not alone she found the twilight fair:

While the songman, far beneath the forest Sang of Srahmandazi all night through, "Lovely be thy name, O Land of shadows, Land of meeting, Land of all the true!"



{113}

Outward Bound

Dear Earth, near Earth, the clay that made us men, The land we sowed, The hearth that glowed— O Mother, must we bid farewell to thee? Fast dawns the last dawn, and what shall comfort then The lonely hearts that roam the outer sea?

Gray wakes the daybreak, the shivering sails are set, To misty deeps The channel sweeps— O Mother, think on us who think on thee! Earth-home, birth-home, with love remember yet The sons in exile on the eternal sea.



{114}

Hope the Hornblower

"Hark ye, hark to the winding horn; Sluggards, awake, and front the morn! Hark ye, hark to the winding horn; The sun's on meadow and mill. Follow me, hearts that love the chase; Follow me, feet that keep the pace: Stirrup to stirrup we ride, we ride, We ride by moor and hill."

Huntsman, huntsman, whither away? What is the quarry afoot to-day? Huntsman, huntsman, whither away, And what the game ye kill? Is it the deer, that men may dine? Is it the wolf that tears the kine? What is the race ye ride, ye ride, Ye ride by moor and hill?

"Ask not yet till the day be dead What is the game that's forward fled, Ask not yet till the day be dead The game we follow still.

{115}

An echo it may be, floating past; A shadow it may be, fading fast: Shadow or echo, we ride, we ride, We ride by moor and hill."



{116}

O Pulchritudo

O saint whose thousand shrines our feet have trod And our eyes loved thy lamp's eternal beam, Dim earthly radiance of the Unknown God, Hope of the darkness, light of them that dream, Far off, far off and faint, O glimmer on Till we thy pilgrims from the road are gone.

O Word whose meaning every sense hath sought, Voice of the teeming field and grassy mound, Deep-whispering fountain of the wells of thought, Will of the wind and soul of all sweet sound, Far off, far off and faint, O murmur on Till we thy pilgrims from the road are gone.



{117}

The Final Mystery

This myth, of Egyptian origin, formed part of the instruction given to those initiated in the Orphic mysteries, and written versions of it were buried with the dead.

Hear now, O Soul, the last command of all— When thou hast left thine every mortal mark, And by the road that lies beyond recall Won through the desert of the Burning Dark, Thou shalt behold within a garden bright A well, beside a cypress ivory-white.

Still is that well, and in its waters cool White, white and windless, sleeps that cypress tree: Who drinks but once from out her shadowy pool Shall thirst no more to all eternity. Forgetting all, by all forgotten clean, His soul shall be with that which hath not been.

But thou, though thou be trembling with thy dread, And parched with thy desire more fierce than flame, Think on the stream wherefrom thy life was fed, And that diviner fountain whence it came. Turn thee and cry—behold, it is not far— Unto the hills where living waters are.

{118}

"Lord, though I lived on earth, the child of earth, Yet was I fathered by the starry sky: Thou knowest I came not of the shadows' birth, Let me not die the death that shadows die. Give me to drink of the sweet spring that leaps From Memory's fount, wherein no cypress sleeps."

Then shalt thou drink, O Soul, and therewith slake The immortal longing of thy mortal thirst, So of thy Father's life shalt thou partake, And be for ever that thou wert at first. Lost in remembered loves, yet thou more thou With them shalt reign in never-ending Now.



{119}

Il Santo

Alas! alas! what impious hands are these? They have cut down my dark mysterious trees, Defied the brooding spell That sealed my sacred well, Broken my fathers' fixed and ancient bars, And on the mouldering shade Wherein my dead were laid Let in the cold clear aspect of the stars.

Slumber hath held the grove for years untold: Is there no reverence for a peace so old? Is there no seemly awe For bronze-engraven law, For dust beatified and saintly name? When they shall see the shrine Princes have held divine, Will they not bow before the eternal flame?

Vain! vain! the wind of heaven for ages long Hath whispered manhood, "Let thine arm be strong! Hew down and fling away The growth that veils decay,

{120}

Shatter the shrine that chokes the living spring. Scorn hatred, scorn regret, Dig deep and deeper yet, Leave not the quest for word of saint or king.

"Dig deeper yet! though the world brand thee now, The faithful labour of an impious brow May for thy race redeem The source of that lost stream Once given the thirst of all the earth to slake. Nay, thou too ere the end Thy weary knee mayst bend And in thy trembling hands that water take."

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