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They hear the loosed White Horses
Above their fathers' grave;

And, kin of those we crippled,
And, sons of those we slew,
Spur down the wild white riders
To school the herds anew.

'What service have ye paid them,
Oh jealous steeds and strong?'
Save we that throw their weaklings,
Is none dare work them wrong;
While thick around the homestead
Our snow-backed leaders graze-
A guard behind their plunder,
And a veil before their ways.

With march and countermarchings-
With weight of wheeling hosts—
Stray mob or bands embattled-
We ring the chosen coasts:
And, careless of our clamour
That bids the stranger fly,
At peace within our pickets
The wild white riders lie.

Trust ye the curdled hollows-
Trust ye the neighing wind-
Trust ye the moaning ground-swell-
Our herds are close behind!
To bray your foeman's armies
To chill and snap his sword—
Trust ye the wild White Horses,
The Horses of the Lord!




E'VE sent our little Cupids all ashoreThey were frightened, they were tired, they were cold;

Our sails of silk and purple go to store,

And we've cut away our mast of beaten gold

(Foul weather!)

Oh 'tis hemp and singing pine for to stand against the brine,

But Love he is the master as of old!

The sea has shorn our galleries away,

The salt has soiled our gilding past remede; Our paint is flaked and blistered by the spray, Our sides are half a fathom furred in weed

(Foul weather!)

And the doves of Venus fled and the petrels came instead, But Love he was our master at our need!

'Was Youth would keep no vigil at the bow,
'Was Pleasure at the helm too drunk to steer—
We've shipped three able quartermasters now,
Men call them Custom, Reverence, and Fear

(Foul weather!)

They are old and scarred and plain, but we'll run no risk again

From any Port o' Paphos mutineer!

We seek no more the tempest for delight,

We skirt no more the indraught and the shoalWe ask no more of any day or night

Than to come with least adventure to our goal (Foul weather!)

What we find we needs must brook, but we do not go to look,

Nor tempt the Lord our God that saved us whole!

Yet, caring so, not overly we care

To brace and trim for every foolish blast,

If the squall be pleased to sweep us unaware,
He may bellow off to leeward like the last
(Foul weather!)

We will blame it on the deep (for the watch must have their sleep),

And Love can come and wake us when 'tis past.

Oh launch them down with music from the beach, Oh warp them out with garlands from the quays— Most resolute-a damsel unto each

New prows that seek the old Hesperides!

(Foul weather!)

Though we know the voyage is vain, yet we see our path


In the saffroned bridesails scenting all the seas!

(Foul weather!)



E have no heart for the fishing, we have no hand for the oar


All that our fathers taught us of old pleases

us now no more;

All that our own hearts bid us believe we doubt where

we do not deny

There is no proof in the bread we eat or rest in the toil we ply.

Look you, our foreshore stretches far through sea-gate, dyke, and groin

Made land all, that our fathers made, where the flats and the fairway join.

They forced the sea a sea-league back. They died, and their work stood fast.

We were born to peace in the lee of the dykes, but the time of our peace is past.

Far off, the full tide clambers and slips, mouthing and testing all,

Nipping the flanks of the water-gates, baying along the wall;

Turning the shingle, returning the shingle, changing the set of the sand

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We are too far from the beach, men say, to know how the outworks stand.

So we come down, uneasy, to look, uneasily pacing the beach.

These are the dykes our fathers made: we have never known a breach.

Time and again has the gale blown by and we were not


Now we come only to look at the dykes-at the dykes our fathers made.

O'er the marsh where the homesteads cower apart the harried sunlight flies,

Shifts and considers, wanes and recovers, scatters and sickens and dies

An evil ember bedded in ash-a spark blown west by the wind

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We are surrendered to night and the sea-the gale and the tide behind!

At the bridge of the lower saltings the cattle gather and blare,

Roused by the feet of running men, dazed by the lantern


Unbar and let them away for their lives-the levels drown as they stand,

Where the flood-wash forces the sluices aback and the ditches deliver inland.

Ninefold deep to the top of the dykes the galloping breakers stride,

And their overcarried spray is a sea-a sea on the landward side.

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