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All the obese, unchallenged old things that stifle and overlie

us

Have felt the effects of the lesson we got an advantage no money could buy us!

Then let us develop this marvellous asset which we alone command,

And which, it may subsequently transpire, will be worth as much as the Rand.

Let us approach this pivotal fact in a humble yet hopeful mood

We have had no end of a lesson, it will do us no end of good!

It was our fault, and our very great fault—and now we must turn it to use.

We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single

excuse.

So the more we work and the less we talk the better results we shall get

We have had an Imperial lesson; it may make us an Empire yet!

MESOPOTAMIA

1917

HEY shall not return to us, the resolute, the young

THEY

The eager and whole-hearted whom we gave:

But the men who left them thriftily to die in their own dung, Shall they come with years and honour to the grave?

They shall not return to us, the strong men coldly slain
In sight of help denied from day to day:

But the men who edged their agonies and chid them in their

Are they too strong and wise to put away?

Our dead shall not return to us while Day and Night divide— Never while the bars of sunset hold.

But the idle-minded overlings who quibbled while they died, Shall they thrust for high employments as of old?

Shall we only threaten and be angry for an hour?
When the storm is ended shall we find

How softly but how swiftly they have sidled back to power
By the favour and contrivance of their kind?

Even while they soothe us, while they promise large amends, Even while they make a show of fear,

Do they call upon their debtors, and take council with their friends,

To confirm and re-establish each career?

Their lives cannot repay us-their death could not undoThe shame that they have laid upon our race.

But the slothfulness that wasted and the arrogance that slew, Shall we leave it unabated in its place?

THE ISLANDERS

1902

No O DOUBT but ye are the People-your throne is above the King's.

Whoso speaks in your presence must say acceptable things: Bowing the head in worship, bending the knee in fear— Bringing the word well smoothen—such as a King should hear.

Fenced by your careful fathers, ringed by your leaden seas, Long did ye wake in quiet and long lie down at ease;

Till

Till

ye said of Strife, "What is it?" of the Sword, "It is far from our ken";

ye

of your shrunken hosts and a toy

made a sport of your
armed men.

of your

Ye stopped your ears to the warning-ye would neither look

nor heed

Ye set your leisure before their toil and your lusts above their

need.

Because of your witless learning and your beasts of warren and chase,

Ye grudged your sons to their service and your fields for their camping-place.

Ye forced them to glean in the highways the straw for the bricks they brought;

Ye forced them follow in byways the craft that ye never taught.

Ye hindered and hampered and crippled; ye thrust out of sight and away

Those that would serve you for honour and those that served you for pay.

Then were the judgments loosened; then was your shame revealed,

At the hands of a little people, few but apt in the field. Yet ye were saved by a remnant (and your land's long-suffering star),

When your strong men cheered in their millions while your striplings went to the war.

Sons of the sheltered city-unmade, unhandled, unmeet— Ye pushed them raw to the battle as ye picked them raw from the street.

And what did ye look they should compass? Warcraft learned in a breath,

Knowledge unto occasion at the first far view of Death?
So? And ye train your horses and the dogs ye feed and prize?
How are the beasts more worthy than the souls, your sacrifice?
But ye said, "Their valour shall show them"; but ye said,
"The end is close."

*

And ye sent them comfits and pictures to help them harry your foes:

And ye vaunted your fathomless power, and ye flaunted your iron pride,

Ere-ye fawned on the Younger Nations for the men who could shoot and ride!

Then ye returned to your trinkets; then ye contented your souls

With the flannelled fools at the wicket or the muddied oafs at

the goals.

Given to strong delusion, wholly believing a lie,

Ye saw that the land lay fenceless, and ye let the months go by

Waiting some easy wonder, hoping some saving sign-
Idle-openly idle-in the lee of the forespent Line.

Idle-except for your boasting—and what is your boasting worth

If ye grudge a year of service to the lordliest life on earth? Ancient, effortless, ordered, cycle on cycle set,

Life so long untroubled, that ye who inherit forget

It was not made with the mountains, it is not one with the deep.

Men, not gods, devised it. Men, not gods, must keep.
Men, not children, servants, or kinsfolk called from afar,
But each man born in the Island broke to the matter of war.
Soberly and by custom taken and trained for the same,
Each man born in the Island entered at youth to the game—
As it were almost cricket, not to be mastered in haste,
But after trial and labour, by temperance, living chaste.
As it were almost cricket-as it were even your play,
Weighed and pondered and worshipped, and practised day
and day.

*

So ye shall bide sure-guarded when the restless lightnings

wake

In the womb of the blotting war-cloud, and the pallid nations.

quake.

So, at the haggard trumpets, instant your soul shall leap

Forthright, accoutred, accepting—alert from the wells of

sleep.

So at the threat ye shall summon-so at the need ye shall send

Men, not children or servants, tempered and taught to the

end;

Cleansed of servile panic, slow to dread or despise,

Humble because of knowledge, mighty by sacrifice.

But ye say, "It will mar our comfort." Ye say, “It will minish our trade."

Do ye wait for the spattered shrapnel ere ye learn how a gun is laid?

For the low, red glare to southward when the raided coasttowns burn?

(Light ye shall have on that lesson, but little time to learn.) Will ye pitch some white pavilion, and lustily even the odds, With nets and hoops and mallets, with rackets and bats and rods?

Will the rabbit war with your foemen-the red deer horn them for hire?

Your kept cock-pheasant keep you?-he is master of many a shire.

Arid, aloof, incurious, unthinking, unthanking, gelt,

Will

ye loose your schools to flout them till their brow-beat columns melt?

Will ye pray them or preach them, or print them, or ballot them back from your shore?

Will your workmen issue a mandate to bid them strike no more?

Will ye rise and dethrone your rulers? (Because ye were idle both?

Pride by Insolence chastened? Indolence purged by Sloth?)
No doubt but ye are the People; who shall make you afraid?
Also your gods are many; no doubt but your gods shall aid.
Idols of greasy altars built for the body's ease;
Proud little brazen Baals and talking fetishes;

Teraphs of sept and party and wise wood-pavement gods

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