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Voices of jackals calling
And, loud in the hush between,
A morsel of dry earth falling
From the flanks of the scarred ravine.
And the solemn firmament marches,
Till we feel the far track humming,
(Few, forgotten and lonely,
Where the white car-windows shine
No, not combatants-only
Details guarding the line.)
Quick, ere the gift escape us!
And the monstrous heaven rejoices,
So we return to our places,
As out on the bridge she rolls; And the darkness covers our faces,
And the darkness re-enters our souls.
More than a little lonely
Where the lessening tail-lights shine. No not combatants-only Details guarding the line!
LIVED a woman wonderful,
Neither simple, kind, nor true,
Christian gentlemen a few
Half her land was dead with drouth,
And murrain on the cattle!
True, ah true, and overtrue.
Bitter hard her lovers toiled, Scandalous their payment,Food forgot on trains derailed; Cattle-dung where fuel failed; Water where the mules had staled; And sackcloth for their raiment!
So she filled their mouths with dust And their bones with fever; Greeted them with cruel lies; Treated them despiteful-wise; Meted them calamities
Till they vowed to leave her!
They took ship and they took sail,
They esteemed her favour more
Bade farewell to breed and race
Yea, and made their burial-place
Wherefore, being bought by blood,
And by blood restored
To the arms that nearly lost,
On your feet, and let them know
This is why we love her!
(C. J. Rhodes, buried in the Matoppos, April 10, 1902)
WHEN that great Kings return to clay,
Grief of a day shall fill a day,
Because its creature died.
But we we reckon not with those
Dreamer devout, by vision led
Beyond our guess or reach,
So huge the all-mastering thought that drove-
His faith before the crowd.
It is his will that he look forth
There shall he patient take his seat
There, till the vision he foresaw
Living he was the land, and dead,
THINGS AND THE MAN
(IN MEMORIAM, JOSEPH CHAMBERLAIN)
"And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren and they hated him yet the more."—Genesis xxxvii. 5.
OH YE who hold the written clue
To all save all unwritten things,
And, half a league behind, pursue
The accomplished Fact with flouts and flings,
The oldest tale since Earth began—
The answer to your worryings:
"Once on a time there was a Man."