A Diversity of Creatures/Jobson's Amen

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JOBSON'S AMEN


'Blessed be the English and all their ways and works.
Cursed be the Infidels, Hereticks, and Turks!'
'Amen,' quo' Jobson, 'but where I used to lie
Was neither Candle, Bell nor Book to curse my brethren by:


'But a palm-tree in full bearing, bowing down, bowing down,
To a surf that drove unsparing at the brown-walled town—
Conches in a temple, oil-lamps in a dome—
And a low moon out of Africa said: "This way home!" '


'Blessed be the English and all that they profess.
Cursed be the Savages that prance in nakedness!'
'Amen,' quo' Jobson, 'but where I used to lie
Was neither shirt nor pantaloons to catch my brethren by:


'But a well-wheel slowly creaking, going round, going round,
By a water-channel leaking over drowned, warm ground—
Parrots very busy in the trellised pepper-vine—
And a high sun over Asia shouting: "Rise and shine!"'

'Blessed be the English and everything they own.
Cursed be the Infidels that bow to wood and stone!'
'Amen,' quo' Jobson, 'but where I used to lie
Was neither pew nor Gospelleer to save my brethren by:


'But a desert stretched and stricken, left and right, left and right,
Where the piled mirages thicken under white-hot light—
A skull beneath a sand-hill and a viper coiled inside—
And a red wind out of Libya roaring: "Run and hide!"'


'Blessed be the English and all they make or do.
Cursed be the Hereticks who doubt that this is true!'
'Amen,' quo' Jobson, 'but where I mean to die
Is neither rule nor calliper to judge the matter by:


'But Himalaya heavenward-heading, sheer and vast, sheer and vast,
In a million summits bedding on the last world's past;
A certain sacred mountain where the scented cedars climb,
And—the feet of my Beloved hurrying back through Time!'


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.


The author died in 1917, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 99 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.