The Seven Seas

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The Seven Seas  (1896) 
by Rudyard Kipling

THE SEVEN SEAS


BY RUDYARD KIPLING



Title page image from Kipling's The Seven Seas (1896).jpg



METHUEN AND CO.

36 ESSEX STREET, W.C.

LONDON

1896


DEDICATION

TO THE CITY OF BOMBAY

The Cities are full of pride,
 Challenging each to each—
This from her mountain-side,
 That from her burthened beach.


They count their ships full tale—
 Their corn and oil and wine,
Derrick and loom and bale,
 And rampart's gun-flecked line;
City by City they hail:
 'Hast aught to match with mine?'


And the men that breed from them
 They traffic up and down,
But cling to their cities' hem
 As a child to their mother's gown.


When they talk with the stranger bands,
 Dazed and newly alone;
When they walk in the stranger lands,
 By roaring streets unknown;
Blessing her where she stands
 For strength above their own.


(On high to hold her fame
 That stands all fame beyond,
By oath to back the same,
 Most faithful-foolish-fond;
Making her mere-breathed name
 Their bond upon their bond.)


So thank I God my birth
 Fell not in isles aside—
Waste headlands of the earth,
 Or warring tribes untried—
But that she lent me worth
 And gave me right to pride.


Surely in toil or fray
 Under an alien sky,
Comfort it is to say:
 'Of no mean city am I!'


(Neither by service nor fee
 Come I to mine estate—
Mother of Cities to me,
 For I was born in her gate,
Between the palms and the sea,
 Where the world-end steamers wait.)


Now for this debt I owe,
 And for her far-borne cheer
Must I make haste and go
 With tribute to her pier.


And she shall touch and remit
 After the use of kings
(Orderly, ancient, fit)
 My deep-sea plunderings,
And purchase in all lands.
 And this we do for a sign
 Her power is over mine,
And mine I hold at her hands!


CONTENTS

PAGE
DEDICATION
 The Cities are full of pride, v
 

The Seven Seas

A SONG OF THE ENGLISH
 Fair is our lot—O goodly is our heritage! 1
 The Coastwise Lights
 Our brows are bound with spindrift and the weed is on our knees, 3
 The Song of the Dead
 Hear now the Song of the Dead—in the North by the torn berg-edges, 5
 The Deep-Sea Cables
 The wrecks dissolve above us; their dust drops down from afar, 9
 The Song of the Sons
 One from the ends of the earth—gifts at an open door—, 10
 The Song of the Cities
 Royal and Dower-royal, I the Queen, 11
 England's Answer
 Truly ye come of The Blood; slower to bless than to ban, 15
THE FIRST CHANTEY
 Mine was the woman to me, darkling I found her, 18
THE LAST CHANTEY
 Thus said the Lord in the Vault above the Cherubim, 21
THE MERCHANTMEN
 King Solomon drew merchantmen, 26
M'ANDREW'S HYMN
 Lord, Thou hast made this world below the shadow of a dream, 31
THE MIRACLES
 I sent a message to my dear, 47
THE NATIVE-BORN
 We've drunk to the Queen—God bless her! 49
THE KING
 'Farewell, Romance!' the Cave-men said, 55
THE RHYME OF THE THREE SEALERS
 Away by the lands of the Japanee, 58
THE DERELICT
 I was the staunchest of our fleet, 73
THE ANSWER
 A Rose, in tatters on the garden path, 76
THE SONG OF THE BANJO
 You couldn't pack a Broadwood half a mile, 78
THE LINER SHE'S A LADY
 The Liner she's a lady, an' she never looks nor 'eeds, 85
MULHOLLAND'S CONTRACT
 The fear was on the cattle, for the gale was on the sea, 88
ANCHOR SONG
 Heh! Walk her round. Heave, ah heave her short again! 92
THE LOST LEGION
 There's a Legion that never was 'listed, 96
THE SEA-WIFE
 There dwells a wife by the Northern Gate, 100
HYMN BEFORE ACTION
 The earth is full of anger, 103
TO THE TRUE ROMANCE
 Thy face is far from this our war, 106
THE FLOWERS
 Bay my English posies! 111
THE LAST RHYME OF TRUE THOMAS
 The King has called for priest and cup, 115
IN THE NEOLITHIC AGE
 In the Neolithic Age savage warfare did I wage, 124
THE STORY OF UNG
 Once, on a glittering ice-field, ages and ages ago, 128
THE THREE-DECKER
 Full thirty foot she towered from waterline to rail, 134
AN AMERICAN
 If the Led Striker call it a strike, 139
THE MARY GLOSTER
 I've paid for your sickest fancies; I've humoured your crackedest whim, 142
SESTINA OF THE TRAMP-ROYAL
 Speakin' in general, I 'ave tried 'em all, 158
 

Barrack-Room Ballads

'BACK TO THE ARMY AGAIN'
 I'm 'ere in a ticky ulster an' a broken billycock 'at, 163
'BIRDS OF PREY' MARCH
 March! The mud is cakin' good about our trousies, 168
'SOLDIER AN' SAILOR TOO'
 As I was spittin' into the Ditch aboard o' the Crocodile, 171
SAPPERS
 When the Waters were dried an' the Earth did appear, 175
THAT DAY
 It got beyond all orders an' it got beyond all 'ope, 179
'THE MEN THAT FOUGHT AT MINDEN'
 The men that fought at Minden, they was rookies in their time, 182
CHOLERA CAMP
 We've got the cholerer in camp—it's worse than forty fights, 186
THE LADIES
 I've taken my fun where I've found it, 190
BILL 'AWKINS
 ' 'As anybody seen Bill 'Awkins?' 194
THE MOTHER-LODGE
 There was Rundle, Station Master, 196
'FOLLOW ME 'OME '
 There was no one like 'im, 'Orse or Foot, 200
THE SERGEANT'S WEDDIN'
 'E was warned again 'er, 203
THE JACKET
 Through the Plagues of Egyp' we was chasin' Arabi, 206
THE 'EATHEN
 The 'eathen in 'is blindness bows down to wood an' stone, 210
THE SHUT-EYE SENTRY
 Sez the Junior Orderly Sergeant, 217
'MARY, PITY WOMEN!'
 You call yourself a man, 222
FOR TO ADMIRE
 The Injian Ocean sets an' smiles, 225
L'ENVOI
 When Earth's last picture is painted and the tubes are twisted and dried, 229