Constab Ballads

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CONSTAB BALLADS

 

BY THE SAME AUTHOR


SONGS OF JAMAICA. With portrait and music to six of the Songs.

To be had in Jamaica from Aston Gardner & Co., Harbour Street Kingston (price 1s. 6d. net, postage 2d.); and in London from the Jamaica Agency, Gamage Building, Holborn, E.C. (price 2s. net, postage 2d.).

CONSTAB BALLADS

 

BY

CLAUDE McKAY

 

London:
WATTS & CO.,
17 JOHNSON'S COURT, FLEET STREET, E.C.
1912

TO

LIEUT.-COL. A. E. KERSHAW,

INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF CONSTABULARY,

AND TO

INSPECTOR W. E. CLARK,

UNDER WHOM THE AUTHOR HAD

THE HONOUR OF SERVING,

THIS VOLUME IS

RESPECTFULLY AND GRATEFULLY DEDICATED.

PREFACE


Let me confess it at once. I had not in me the stuff that goes to the making of a good constable; for I am so constituted that imagination outruns discretion, and it is my misfortune to have a most improper sympathy with wrong-doers. I therefore never "made cases," but turning, like Nelson, a blind eye to what it was my manifest duty to see, tried to make peace, which seemed to me better.

Moreover, I am, by temperament, unadaptive; by which I mean that it is not in me to conform cheerfully to uncongenial uses. We Blacks are all somewhat impatient of discipline, and to the natural impatience of my race there was added, in my particular case, a peculiar sensitiveness which made certain forms of discipline irksome, and a fierce hatred of injustice. Not that I ever openly rebelled; but the rebellion was in my heart, and it was fomented by the inevitable rubs of daily life––trifles to most of my comrades, but to me calamities and tragedies. To relieve my feelings, I wrote poems, and into them I poured my heart in its various moods. This volume consists of a selection from these poems.

The life was, as it happened, unsuited to me, and I to it; but I do not regret my experiences. If I had enemies whom I hated, I also had close friends whom I loved.

One word in conclusion. As constituted by the authorities the Force is admirable, and it only remains for the men themselves, and especially the sub-officers, to make it what it should be, a harmonious band of brothers.

C. McK.



This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1948, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 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.