Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

He, single-handed, met and slew

Magicians, Armies, Ogres, Kings.
He lonely 'mid his doubting crew-
"In all the loneliness of wings"—
He fed the flame, he filled the springs,

He locked the ranks, he launched the van Straight at the grinning Teeth of Things. "Once on a time there was a Man.”

The peace of shocked Foundations flew
Before his ribald questionings.
He broke the Oracles in two,

And bared the paltry wires and strings.
He headed desert wanderings;

He led his soul, his cause, his clan
A little from the ruck of Things.

"Once on a time there was a Man."

Thrones, Powers, Dominions block the view
With episodes and underlings—
The meek historian deems them true
Nor heeds the song that Clio sings-
The simple central truth that stings

The mob to boo, the priest to ban;
Things never yet created things—

"Once on a time there was a Man."

A bolt is fallen from the blue.

A wakened realm full circle swings Where Dothan's dreamer dreams anew Of vast and farborne harvestings; And unto him an Empire clings

That grips the purpose of his plan. My Lords, how think you of these things? Once-in our time-is there a Man?

THE SETTLER

1903

(South African War ended, May, 1902)

HERE, where my fresh-turned furrows run,
And the deep soil glistens red,
I will repair the wrong that was done
To the living and the dead.
Here, where the senseless bullet fell,
And the barren shrapnel burst,
I will plant a tree, I will dig a well,
Against the heat and the thirst.

Here, in a large and a sunlit land,
Where no wrong bites to the bone,
I will lay my hand in my neighbour's hand,
And together we will atone

For the set folly and the red breach
And the black waste of it all;
Giving and taking counsel each

Over the cattle-kraal.

Here will we join against our foes-
The hailstroke and the storm,

And the red and rustling cloud that blows
The locust's mile-deep swarm.
Frost and murrain and floods let loose

Shall launch us side by side

In the holy wars that have no truce

'Twixt seed and harvest-tide.

Earth, where we rode to slay or be slain,
Our love shall redeem unto life.
We will gather and lead to her lips again
The waters of ancient strife,

From the far and fiercely guarded streams
And the pools where we lay in wait,
Till the corn cover our evil dreams
And the young corn our hate.

And when we bring old fights to mind,
We will not remember the sin—
If there be blood on his head of my kind,
Or blood on my head of his kin-
For the ungrazed upland, the untilled lea
Cry, and the fields forlorn:

"The dead must bury their dead, but ye-
Ye serve an host unborn."

Bless then, Our God, the new-yoked plough
And the good beasts that draw,

And the bread we eat in the sweat of our brow
According to Thy Law.

After us cometh a multitude

Prosper the work of our hands,

That we may feed with our land's food

The folk of all our lands!

Here, in the waves and the troughs of the plains,

Where the healing stillness lies,

And the vast, benignant sky restrains

And the long days make wise

Bless to our use the rain and the sun

And the blind seed in its bed,

That we may repair the wrong that was done

To the living and the dead!

SUSSEX

1902

GOD gave all men all earth to love,
But since our hearts are small,

Ordained for each one spot should prove
Beloved over all;

That, as He watched Creation's birth,
So we, in godlike mood,
May of our love create our earth
And see that it is good.

So one shall Baltic pines content,
As one some Surrey glade,
Or one the palm-grove's droned lament
Before Levuka's Trade.
Each to his choice, and I rejoice
The lot has fallen to me
In a fair ground-in a fair ground-
Yea, Sussex by the sea!

No tender-hearted garden crowns,
No bosomed woods adorn

Our blunt, bow-headed, whale-backed Downs,
But gnarled and writhen thorn-

Bare slopes where chasing shadows skim,

And, through the gaps revealed,

Belt upon belt, the wooded, dim,
Blue goodness of the Weald.

Clean of officious fence or hedge,
Half-wild and wholly tame,

The wise turf cloaks the white cliff edge
As when the Romans came.

What sign of those that fought and died
At shift of sword and sword?
The barrow and the camp abide,
The sunlight and the sward.

Here leaps ashore the full Sou'west
All heavy-winged with brine,
Here lies above the folded crest
The Channel's leaden line;
And here the sea-fogs lap and cling,
And here, each warning each,
The sheep-bells and the ship-bells ring
Along the hidden beach.

We have no waters to delight

Our broad and brookless vales-
Only the dewpond on the height
Unfed, that never fails-
Whereby no tattered herbage tells
Which way the season flies-

Only our close-bit thyme that smells
Like dawn in Paradise.

Here through the strong and shadeless days

The tinkling silence thrills;

Or little, lost, Down churches praise

The Lord who made the hills:

But here the Old Gods guard their round,
And, in her secret heart,

The heathen kingdom Wilfrid found
Dreams, as she dwells, apart.

Though all the rest were all my share,

With equal soul I'd see

Her nine-and-thirty sisters fair,

Yet none more fair than she.

« AnteriorContinuar »