A Song of the English (1909)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A song of the English, by Rudyard Kipling, illustrated by W. Heath, Robinson, Doubleday, Page & Company, New York

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION
INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN

COPYRIGHT, 1896, BY RUDYARD KIPLING

COPYRIGHT, 1905, BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

COPYRIGHT, 1909, BY RUDYARD KIPLING

PUBLISHED, NOVEMBER, 1909


CONTENTS


I. A SONG OF THE ENGLISH

Fair is our lot—O goodly is our heritage!


II. THE COASTWISE LIGHTS

Our brows are bound with spindrift and the weed is on our knees.


III. THE SONG OF THE DEAD

Hear now the Song of the Dead—in the North by the torn berg-edges.


IV. THE DEEP-SEA CABLES

The wrecks dissolve above us; their dust drops down from afar.


V. THE SONG OF THE SONS

One from the ends of the earth gifts at an open door.


VI. THE SONGS OF THE CITIES:―


BOMBAY
Royal and Dower-royal, I the Queen.


CALCUTTA
Me the Sea captain loved, the River built.


MADRAS
Clive kissed me on the mouth and eyes and brow.


RANGOON
Hail, Mother! Do they call me rich in trade?


SINGAPORE
Hail, Mother! East and West must seek my aid.


HONG KONG
Hail, Mother! Hold me fast: my Praya sleeps.


HALIFAX
Into the mist my guardian prows put forth.


QUEBEC AND MONTREAL
Peace is our portion. Yet a whisper rose.


VICTORIA
From East to West the circling word has passed.


CAPETOWN
Hail! Snatched and bartered oft from hand to hand.


MELBOURNE
Greeting! Nor fear nor favour won us place.


SYDNEY
Greeting! My birth-stain have I turned to good.


BRISBANE
The northern stirp beneath the southern skies.


HOBART
Man's love first found me; man's hate made me Hell.


AUCKLAND
Last, loneliest, loveliest, exquisite, apart.


VII. ENGLAND'S ANSWER

Truly ye come of The Blood; slower to bless than to ban.


A song of the English (1909) 0017.jpg

ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOUR

1. Frontispiece.

Follow after—we are waiting by the trails that we lost,
For the sounds of many footsteps, for the tread of a host.


2.

Fair is our lot—goodly is our heritage!
(Humble ye, my people, and be fearful in your mirth!
For the Lord our God Most High
He hath made the deep as dry,
He hath smote for us a pathway to the ends of all the Earth!


3.

Our brows are bound with spindrift and the weed is on our knees;
Our loins are battered 'neath us by the swinging, smoking seas.


4.

Through the endless summer evenings, on the lineless, level floors.


5.

Come up, come in from Eastward, from the guardports of the Morn!
Beat up, beat in from Southerly, gipsies of the Horn,
Swift shuttles of an Empire's loom that weave us, main to main,
The Coastwise Lights of England give you welcome back again!


6.

Came the Whisper, came the Vision, came the Power with the Need,
Till the Soul that is not man's soul was lent us to lead.

7.

Then the wood failed—then the food failed—then the last water dried—
In the faith of little children we lay down and died.


8.

On the sand-drift—on the veldt-side—in the fern-scrub we lay.
That our sons might follow after by the bones on the way.


9.

Follow after—follow after—for the harvest is sown:
By the bones about the wayside ye shall come to your own!


10.

When Drake went down to the Horn,
And England was crowned thereby.


11.

We have fed our sea for a thousand years,
And she calls us, still unfed,
Though there's never a wave of all her waves
But marks our English dead.


12.

If blood be the price of admiralty,
Lord God, we ha' paid in full!


13.

There's never a flood goes shoreward now
But lifts a keel we manned;
There's never an ebb goes seaward now
But drops our dead on the sand—
But slinks our dead on the sands forlore
From the Ducies to the Swin

14.

The wrecks dissolve, above us; their dust drops down from afar—
Down to the dark, the utter dark, where the blind white sea-snakes are.


15.

Here in the womb of the world—here on the tie-ribs of earth
Words, and the words of men, flicker and flutter and beat—
Warning, sorrow and gain, salutation and mirth—
For a Power troubles the Still that has neither voice nor feet.


16.

Those that have stayed at thy knees, Mother, go call them in—
We that were bred overseas wait and would speak with our kin.
Not in the dark do we fight—haggle and flout and gibe;
Selling our love for a price, loaning our hearts for a bribe.


17. Bombay.


18. Calcutta.


19. Madras.


20. Rangoon.


21. Singapore.


22. Hong-Kong.


23. Halifax.


24. Quebec and Montreal.


25. Capetown.


26. Melbourne.


27. Sydney.


28. Hobart.


29. Auckland.


30. Deeper than speech our love, stronger than life our tether,
But we do not fall on the neck nor kiss when we come together.
My arm is nothing weak, my strength is not gone by;
Sons, I have borne many sons, but my dugs are not dry.


A song of the English (1909) 0020.jpg


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).