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'And reports the derelict "Margaret Pollock" still at
WAS the staunchest of our fleet
Till the sea rose beneath our feet
Unheralded, in hatred past all measure.
Into his pits he stamped my crew,
Buffeted, blinded, bound and threw,
Man made me, and my will
Is to my maker still,
Whom now the currents con, the rollers steer-
Trailed smoke along the sky,
Falling afraid lest any keel come near!
Wrenched as the lips of thirst,
Wried, dried, and split and burst,
Bone-bleached my decks, wind-scoured to the graining;
And jarred at every roll
The gear that was my soul
Answers the anguish of my beams' complaining.
For life that crammed me full,
Gangs of the prying gull
That shriek and scrabble on the riven hatches!
For roar that dumbed the gale,
My hawse-pipes' guttering wail,
Sobbing my heart out through the uncounted watches!
Blind in the hot blue ring
Through all my points I swingSwing and return to shift the sun anew.
Blind in my well-known sky
I hear the stars go by,
Mocking the prow that cannot hold one true!
White on my wasted path
Wave after wave in wrath
Frets 'gainst his fellow, warring where to send me.
Witless and dazed I bide
The mercy of the comber that shall end me.
North where the bergs careen,
The spray of seas unseen
Smokes round my head and freezes in the falling;
The footless, floating weed
Folds me and fouls me, strake on strake upcrawling.
I that was clean to run
My race against the sun
Strength on the deep, am bawd to all disaster-
My sister's careless feet,
And with a kiss betray her to my master!
Man made me, and my will
Is to my maker still
To him and his, our peoples at their pier: Lifting in hope to spy
Trailed smoke along the sky, Falling afraid lest any keel come near!
ROSE, in tatters on the garden path,
Cried out to God and murmured 'gainst His
Because a sudden wind at twilight's hush
A voice said, "Father, wherefore falls the flower?
And a voice answered, "Son, by Allah's will!”
Then softly as a rain-mist on the sward,
Time, Tide, and Space, We bound unto the task
Died as they die whose days are innocent;
While he who questioned why the flower fell
Caught hold of God and saved his soul from Hell.
THE SONG OF THE BANJO
OU couldn't pack a Broadwood half a mile-
And play it in an Equatorial swamp.
I'm sandwiched 'tween the coffee and the porkAnd when the dusty column checks and tails, You should hear me spur the rearguard to a walk!
With my 'Pilly-willy-winky-winky popp!'
In the silence of the camp before the fight,
When it's good to make your will and say your prayer, You can hear my 'strumpty-tumpty' overnight Explaining ten to one was always fair.
I'm the Prophet of the Utterly Absurd,
Of the Patently Impossible and Vain—
And when the Thing that Couldn't has occurred,