« AnteriorContinuar »
Rattle of block and sheet
"Ready about-stand by!"
Shall I ask them a fee ere they fetch the quay? (Shoal! 'Ware shoal!) Not I!
I dip and I surge and I swing
Between the course and the sand,
Peril whereof I cry.
Would I change with my brother a league inland? (Shoal! 'Ware shoal!) Not I!
THE OLD ISSUE
OCTOBER 9, 1899
(Outbreak of Boer War)
HERE is nothing new nor aught unproven," say the Trumpets,
"Many feet have worn it and the road is old indeed.
"It is the King-the King we schooled aforetime!"
“Here is neither haste, nor hate, nor anger," peal the Trumpets, "Pardon for his penitence or pity for his fall.
"It is the King!"-inexorable Trumpets
(Trumpets round the scaffold at the dawning by Whitehall!)
"He hath veiled the Crown and hid the Sceptre," warn the Trum
"He hath changed the fashion of the lies that cloak his will. "Hard die the Kings-ah hard-dooms hard!" declare the Trumpets,
Trumpets at the gang-plank where the brawling troop-decks fill!
Ancient and Unteachable, abide-abide the Trumpets!
Once again the Trumpets, for the shuddering ground-swell brings
Clamour over ocean of the harsh, pursuing Trumpets—
Trumpets of the Vanguard that have sworn no truce with Kings!
All we have of freedom, all we use or know-
Ancient Right unnoticed as the breath we draw-
Lance and torch and tumult, steel and grey-goose wing
Till our fathers 'stablished, after bloody years,
So they bought us freedom-not at little costWherefore must we watch the King, lest our gain be lost.
Over all things certain, this is sure indeed,
Give no ear to bondsmen bidding us endure.
Whining "He is weak and far"; crying "Time shall cure."
(Time himself is witness, till the battle joins, Deeper strikes the rottenness in the people's loins.)
Give no heed to bondsmen masking war with peace.
They that beg us barter-wait his yielding mood— Pledge the years we hold in trust-pawn our brother's blood
Howso' great their clamour, whatsoe'er their claim,
Here is naught unproven-here is naught to learn.
He shall mark our goings, question whence we came,
He shall take a tribute, toll of all our ware;
He shall change our gold for arms-arms we may not bear.
He shall break his Judges if they cross his word;
He shall peep and mutter; and the night shall bring
Hate and all division; hosts of hurrying spies;
Strangers of his counsel, hirelings of his pay,
We shall drink dishonour, we shall eat abuse
We shall take our station, dirt beneath his feet,
Cruel in the shadow, crafty in the sun,
Sloven, sullen, savage, secret, uncontrolled,
Long-forgotten bondage, dwarfing heart and brain—
Here is naught at venture, random nor untrue—
Here is naught unproven, here is nothing hid:
Step by step, and word by word: who is ruled may read.
All the right they promise-all the wrong they bring.
ET us admit it fairly, as a business people should,
We have had no end of a lesson: it will do us no end of good.
Not on a single issue, or in one direction or twain,
But conclusively, comprehensively, and several times and
Were all our most holy illusions knocked higher than Gilde
We have had a jolly good lesson, and it serves us jolly well
This was not bestowed us under the trees, nor yet in the shade of a tent,
But swingingly, over eleven degrees of a bare brown conti
From Lamberts to Delagoa Bay, and from Pietersburg to Sutherland,
Fell the phenomenal lesson we learned-with a fulness accorded no other land.
It was our fault, and our very great fault, and not the judgment of Heaven.
We made an Army in our own image, on an island nine by
Which faithfully mirrored its makers' ideals, equipment, and mental attitude
And so we got our lesson: and we ought to accept it with gratitude.
We have spent two hundred million pounds to prove the fact
That horses are quicker than men afoot, since two and two make four;
And horses have four legs, and men have two legs, and two into four goes twice,
And nothing over except our lesson—and very cheap at the price.
For remember (this our children shall know: we are too near for that knowledge)
Not our mere astonied camps, but Council and Creed and College