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But when you're threshing, crippled, with broken bridge and rail,
At a drogue of dead convictions to hold you head to gale, Calm as the Flying Dutchman, from truck to taffrail
You'll see the old three-decker for the Islands of the Blest.
You'll see her tiering canvas in sheeted silver spread; You'll hear the long-drawn thunder 'neath her leaping figure-head;
While far, so far above you, her tall poop-lanterns shine Unvexed by wind or weather like the candles round a shrine!
Hull down-hull down and under-she dwindles to a speck,
With noise of pleasant music and dancing on her deck. All's well-all's well aboard her-she's left you far
With a scent of old-world roses through the fog that ties you blind.
Her crew are babes or madmen? Her port is all to make?
You're manned by Truth and Science, and you steam for steaming's sake?
Well, tinker up your engines-you know your business best
She's taking tired people to the Islands of the Blest!
The American Spirit speaks:
F the Led Striker call it a strike,
They know not much what I am like,
Nor what he is, my Avatar.'
Through many roads, by me possessed,
And he the Text himself applies.
The Celt is in his heart and hand,
The Gaul is in his brain and nerve; Where, cosmopolitanly planned,
He guards the Redskin's dry reserve.
His easy unswept hearth he lends
He camps, at sufferance, on the stoop.
Calm-eyed he scoffs at sword and crown,
Or, sombre-drunk, at mine and mart,
But, through the shift of mood and mood, Mine ancient humour saves him wholeThe cynic devil in his blood
That bids him mock his hurrying soul;
That bids him flout the Law he makes,
That checks him foolish-hot and fond,
The acrid Asiatic mirth
That leaves him, careless 'mid his dead,
How shall he clear himself, how reach
Which knowledge vexes him a space;
Enslaved, illogical, elate,
He greets th' embarrassed Gods, nor fears To shake the iron hand of Fate
Or match with Destiny for beers.
Lo, imperturbable he rules,
Unkempt, disreputable, vastAnd, in the teeth of all the schools, I-I shall save him at the last!
THE MARY GLOSTER
'VE paid for your sickest fancies; I've humoured your crackedest whim
Dick, it's your daddy, dying; you've got to listen to him!
Good for a fortnight, am I? The doctor told you? Helied. I shall go under by morning, and— Put that nurse out
'Never seen death yet, Dickie? Well, now is your time to learn,
And you'll wish you held my record before it comes to your turn.
Not counting the Line and the Foundry, the yards and the village, too,
I've made myself and a million; but I'm damned if I
Master at two-and-twenty, and married at twenty-three— Ten thousand men on the pay-roll, and forty freighters
Fifty years between 'em, and every year of it fight, And now I'm Sir Anthony Gloster, dying, a baronite: For I lunched with his Royal 'Ighness-what was it the papers a-had?
'Not least of our merchant-princes.' Dickie, that's me, your dad!