Rudyard Kipling |
Now this is the tale of the Council the German Kaiser decreed,
To ease the strong of their burden, to help the weak in their need,
He sent a word to the peoples, who struggle, and pant, and sweat,
That the straw might be counted fairly and the tally of bricks be set.
The Lords of Their Hands assembled; from the East and the West they drew --
Baltimore, Lille, and Essen, Brummagem, Clyde, and Crewe.
And some were black from the furnace, and some were brown from the soil,
And some were blue from the dye-vat; but all were wearied of toil.
And the young King said: -- "I have found it, the road to the rest ye seek:
The strong shall wait for the weary, the hale shall halt for the weak;
With the even tramp of an army where no man breaks from the line,
Ye shall march to peace and plenty in the bond of brotherhood -- sign!"
The paper lay on the table, the strong heads bowed thereby,
And a wail went up from the peoples: -- "Ay, sign -- give rest, for we die!"
A hand was stretched to the goose-quill, a fist was cramped to scrawl,
When -- the laugh of a blue-eyed maiden ran clear through the council-hall.
And each one heard Her laughing as each one saw Her plain --
Saidie, Mimi, or Olga, Gretchen, or Mary Jane.
And the Spirit of Man that is in Him to the light of the vision woke;
And the men drew back from the paper, as a Yankee delegate spoke: --
"There's a girl in Jersey City who works on the telephone;
We're going to hitch our horses and dig for a house of our own,
With gas and water connections, and steam-heat through to the top;
Hohenzollern, I guess I shall work till I drop.
And an English delegate thundered: -- "The weak an' the lame be blowed!
I've a berth in the Sou'-West workshops, a home in the Wandsworth Road;
And till the 'sociation has footed my buryin' bill,
I work for the kids an' the missus.
Pull up? I be damned if I will!"
And over the German benches the bearded whisper ran: --
"Lager, der girls und der dollars, dey makes or dey breaks a man.
If Schmitt haf collared der dollars, he collars der girl deremit;
But if Schmitt bust in der pizness, we collars der girl from Schmitt.
They passed one resolution: -- "Your sub-committee believe
You can lighten the curse of Adam when you've lightened the curse of Eve.
But till we are built like angels, with hammer and chisel and pen,
We will work for ourself and a woman, for ever and ever, amen.
Now this is the tale of the Council the German Kaiser held --
The day that they razored the Grindstone, the day that the Cat was belled,
The day of the Figs from Thistles, the day of the Twisted Sands,
The day that the laugh of a maiden made light of the Lords of Their Hands.
Andrew Barton Paterson |
You never heard tell of the story?
Well, now, I can hardly believe!
Never heard of the honour and glory
Of Pardon, the son of Reprieve?
But maybe you're only a Johnnie
And don't know a horse from a hoe?
Well, well, don't get angry, my sonny,
But, really, a young un should know.
They bred him out back on the "Never",
His mother was Mameluke breed.
To the front -- and then stay there - was ever
The root of the Mameluke creed.
He seemed to inherit their wiry
Strong frames -- and their pluck to receive --
As hard as a flint and as fiery
Was Pardon, the son of Reprieve.
We ran him at many a meeting
At crossing and gully and town,
And nothing could give him a beating --
At least when our money was down.
For weight wouldn't stop him, nor distance,
Nor odds, though the others were fast;
He'd race with a dogged persistence,
And wear them all down at the last.
At the Turon the Yattendon filly
Led by lengths at the mile-and-a-half,
And we all began to look silly,
While her crowd were starting to laugh;
But the old horse came faster and faster,
His pluck told its tale, and his strength,
He gained on her, caught her, and passed her,
And won it, hands down, by a length.
And then we swooped down on Menindie
To run for the President's Cup;
Oh! that's a sweet township -- a shindy
To them is board, lodging, and sup.
Eye-openers they are, and their system
Is never to suffer defeat;
It's "win, tie, or wrangle" -- to best 'em
You must lose 'em, or else it's "dead heat".
We strolled down the township and found 'em
At drinking and gaming and play;
If sorrows they had, why they drowned 'em,
And betting was soon under way.
Their horses were good uns and fit uns,
There was plenty of cash in the town;
They backed their own horses like Britons,
And, Lord! how we rattled it down!
With gladness we thought of the morrow,
We counted our wages with glee,
A simile homely to borrow --
"There was plenty of milk in our tea.
You see we were green; and we never
Had even a thought of foul play,
Though we well might have known that the clever
Division would "put us away".
Experience docet, they tell us,
At least so I've frequently heard;
But, "dosing" or "stuffing", those fellows
Were up to each move on the board:
They got to his stall -- it is sinful
To think what such villains will do --
And they gave him a regular skinful
Of barley -- green barley -- to chew.
He munched it all night, and we found him
Next morning as full as a hog --
The girths wouldn't nearly meet round him;
He looked like an overfed frog.
We saw we were done like a dinner --
The odds were a thousand to one
Against Pardon turning up winner,
'Twas cruel to ask him to run.
We got to the course with our troubles,
A crestfallen couple were we;
And we heard the " books" calling the doubles --
A roar like the surf of the sea.
And over the tumult and louder
Rang "Any price Pardon, I lay!"
Says Jimmy, "The children of Judah
Are out on the warpath today.
Three miles in three heats: -- Ah, my sonny,
The horses in those days were stout,
They had to run well to win money;
I don't see such horses about.
Your six-furlong vermin that scamper
Half-a-mile with their feather-weight up,
They wouldn't earn much of their damper
In a race like the President's Cup.
The first heat was soon set a-going;
The Dancer went off to the front;
The Don on his quarters was showing,
With Pardon right out of the hunt.
He rolled and he weltered and wallowed --
You'd kick your hat faster, I'll bet;
They finished all bunched, and he followed
All lathered and dripping with sweat.
But troubles came thicker upon us,
For while we were rubbing him dry
The stewards came over to warn us:
"We hear you are running a bye!
If Pardon don't spiel like tarnation
And win the next heat -- if he can --
He'll earn a disqualification;
Just think over that now, my man!"
Our money all gone and our credit,
Our horse couldn't gallop a yard;
And then people thought that we did it
It really was terribly hard.
We were objects of mirth and derision
To folks in the lawn and the stand,
Anf the yells of the clever division
Of "Any price Pardon!" were grand.
We still had a chance for the money,
Two heats remained to be run:
If both fell to us -- why, my sonny,
The clever division were done.
And Pardon was better, we reckoned,
His sickness was passing away,
So we went to the post for the second
And principal heat of the day.
They're off and away with a rattle,
Like dogs from the leashes let slip,
And right at the back of the battle
He followed them under the whip.
They gained ten good lengths on him quickly
He dropped right away from the pack;
I tell you it made me feel sickly
To see the blue jacket fall back.
Our very last hope had departed --
We thought the old fellow was done,
When all of a sudden he started
To go like a shot from a gun.
His chances seemed slight to embolden
Our hearts; but, with teeth firmly set,
We thought, "Now or never! The old un
May reckon with some of 'em yet.
Then loud rose the war-cry for Pardon;
He swept like the wind down the dip,
And over the rise by the garden
The jockey was done with the whip.
The field was at sixes and sevens --
The pace at the first had been fast --
And hope seemed to drop from the heavens,
For Pardon was coming at last.
And how he did come! It was splendid;
He gained on them yards every bound,
Stretching out like a greyhound extended,
His girth laid right down on the ground.
A shimmer of silk in the cedars
As into the running they wheeled,
And out flashed the whips on the leaders,
For Pardon had collared the field.
Then right through the ruck he was sailing --
I knew that the battle was won --
The son of Haphazard was failing,
The Yattendon filly was done;
He cut down The Don and The Dancer,
He raced clean away from the mare --
He's in front! Catch him now if you can, sir!
And up went my hat in the air!
Then loud fron the lawn and the garden
Rose offers of "Ten to one on!"
"Who'll bet on the field? I back Pardon!"
No use; all the money was gone.
He came for the third heat light-hearted,
A-jumping and dancing about;
The others were done ere they started
Crestfallen, and tired, and worn out.
He won it, and ran it much faster
Than even the first, I believe;
Oh, he was the daddy, the master,
Was Pardon, the son of Reprieve.
He showed 'em the method of travel --
The boy sat still as a stone --
They never could see him for gravel;
He came in hard-held, and alone.
* * * * * * *
But he's old -- and his eyes are grown hollow
Like me, with my thatch of the snow;
When he dies, then I hope I may follow,
And go where the racehorses go.
I don't want no harping nor singing --
Such things with my style don't agree;
Where the hoofs of the horses are ringing
There's music sufficient for me.
And surely the thoroughbred horses
Will rise up again and begin
Fresh faces on far-away courses,
And p'raps they might let me slip in.
It would look rather well the race-card on
'Mongst Cherubs and Seraphs and things,
"Angel Harrison's black gelding Pardon,
Blue halo, white body and wings.
And if they have racing hereafter,
(And who is to say they will not?)
When the cheers and the shouting and laughter
Proclaim that the battle grows hot;
As they come down the racecourse a-steering,
He'll rush to the front, I believe;
And you'll hear the great multitude cheering
For Pardon, the son of Reprieve
Philip Larkin |
'Dockery was junior to you,
Wasn't he?' said the Dean.
'His son's here now.
Death-suited, visitant, I nod.
You keep in touch with-' Or remember how
Black-gowned, unbreakfasted, and still half-tight
We used to stand before that desk, to give
'Our version' of 'these incidents last night'?
I try the door of where I used to live:
The lawn spreads dazzlingly wide.
A known bell chimes.
I catch my train, ignored.
Canal and clouds and colleges subside
Slowly from view.
But Dockery, good Lord,
Anyone up today must have been born
In '43, when I was twenty-one.
If he was younger, did he get this son
At nineteen, twenty? Was he that withdrawn
High-collared public-schoolboy, sharing rooms
With Cartwright who was killed? Well, it just shows
How much .
How little .
Yawning, I suppose
I fell asleep, waking at the fumes
And furnace-glares of Sheffield, where I changed,
And ate an awful pie, and walked along
The platform to its end to see the ranged
Joining and parting lines reflect a strong
To have no son, no wife,
No house or land still seemed quite natural.
Only a numbness registered the shock
Of finding out how much had gone of life,
How widely from the others.
Only nineteen, he must have taken stock
Of what he wanted, and been capable
No, that's not the difference: rather, how
Convinced he was he should be added to!
Why did he think adding meant increase?
To me it was dilution.
Where do these
Innate assumptions come from? Not from what
We think truest, or most want to do:
Those warp tight-shut, like doors.
They're more a style
Our lives bring with them: habit for a while,
Suddenly they harden into all we've got
And how we got it; looked back on, they rear
Like sand-clouds, thick and close, embodying
For Dockery a son, for me nothing,
Nothing with all a son's harsh patronage.
Life is first boredom, then fear.
Whether or not we use it, it goes,
And leaves what something hidden from us chose,
And age, and then the only end of age.
Robert William Service |
You've heard of Julot the apache, and Gigolette, his mome.
Montmartre was their hunting-ground, but Belville was their home.
A little chap just like a boy, with smudgy black mustache, --
Yet there was nothing juvenile in Julot the apache.
From head to heel as tough as steel, as nimble as a cat,
With every trick of twist and kick, a master of savate.
And Gigolette was tall and fair, as stupid as a cow,
With three combs in the greasy hair she banged upon her brow.
You'd see her on the Place Pigalle on any afternoon,
A primitive and strapping wench as brazen as the moon.
And yet there is a tale that's told of Clichy after dark,
And two gendarmes who swung their arms with Julot for a mark.
And oh, but they'd have got him too; they banged and blazed away,
When like a flash a woman leapt between them and their prey.
She took the medicine meant for him; she came down with a crash .
"Quick now, and make your get-away, O Julot the apache!" .
But no! He turned, ran swiftly back, his arms around her met;
They nabbed him sobbing like a kid, and kissing Gigolette.
Now I'm a reckless painter chap who loves a jamboree,
And one night in Cyrano's bar I got upon a spree;
And there were trollops all about, and crooks of every kind,
But though the place was reeling round I didn't seem to mind.
Till down I sank, and all was blank when in the bleary dawn
I woke up in my studio to find -- my money gone;
Three hundred francs I'd scraped and squeezed to pay my quarter's rent.
"Some one has pinched my wad," I wailed; "it never has been spent.
And as I racked my brains to seek how I could raise some more,
Before my cruel landlord kicked me cowering from the door:
A knock .
"Come in," I gruffly groaned; I did not raise my head,
Then lo! I heard a husky voice, a swift and silky tread:
"You got so blind, last night, mon vieux, I collared all your cash --
Three hundred francs.
There! Nom de Dieu," said Julot the apache.
And that was how I came to know Julot and Gigolette,
And we would talk and drink a bock, and smoke a cigarette.
And I would meditate upon the artistry of crime,
And he would tell of cracking cribs and cops and doing time;
Or else when he was flush of funds he'd carelessly explain
He'd biffed some bloated bourgeois on the border of the Seine.
So gentle and polite he was, just like a man of peace,
And not a desperado and the terror of the police.
Now one day in a bistro that's behind the Place Vendôme
I came on Julot the apache, and Gigolette his mome.
And as they looked so very grave, says I to them, says I,
"Come on and have a little glass, it's good to rinse the eye.
You both look mighty serious; you've something on the heart.
"Ah, yes," said Julot the apache, "we've something to impart.
When such things come to folks like us, it isn't very gay .
It's Gigolette -- she tells me that a gosse is on the way.
Then Gigolette, she looked at me with eyes like stones of gall:
"If we were honest folks," said she, "I wouldn't mind at all.
But then .
you know the life we lead; well, anyway I mean
(That is, providing it's a girl) to call her Angeline.
"Cheer up," said I; "it's all in life.
There's gold within the dross.
Come on, we'll drink another verre to Angeline the gosse.
And so the weary winter passed, and then one April morn
The worthy Julot came at last to say the babe was born.
"I'd like to chuck it in the Seine," he sourly snarled, "and yet
I guess I'll have to let it live, because of Gigolette.
I only laughed, for sure I saw his spite was all a bluff,
And he was prouder than a prince behind his manner gruff.
Yet every day he'd blast the brat with curses deep and grim,
And swear to me that Gigolette no longer thought of him.
And then one night he dropped the mask; his eyes were sick with dread,
And when I offered him a smoke he groaned and shook his head:
"I'm all upset; it's Angeline .
she's covered with a rash .
She'll maybe die, my little gosse," cried Julot the apache.
But Angeline, I joy to say, came through the test all right,
Though Julot, so they tell me, watched beside her day and night.
And when I saw him next, says he: "Come up and dine with me.
We'll buy a beefsteak on the way, a bottle and some brie.
And so I had a merry night within his humble home,
And laughed with Angeline the gosse and Gigolette the mome.
And every time that Julot used a word the least obscene,
How Gigolette would frown at him and point to Angeline:
Oh, such a little innocent, with hair of silken floss,
I do not wonder they were proud of Angeline the gosse.
And when her arms were round his neck, then Julot says to me:
"I must work harder now, mon vieux, since I've to work for three.
He worked so very hard indeed, the police dropped in one day,
And for a year behind the bars they put him safe away.
So dark and silent now, their home; they'd gone -- I wondered where,
Till in a laundry near I saw a child with shining hair;
And o'er the tub a strapping wench, her arms in soapy foam;
Lo! it was Angeline the gosse, and Gigolette the mome.
And so I kept an eye on them and saw that all went right,
Until at last came Julot home, half crazy with delight.
And when he'd kissed them both, says he: "I've had my fill this time.
I'm on the honest now, I am; I'm all fed up with crime.
You mark my words, the page I turn is going to be clean,
I swear it on the head of her, my little Angeline.
And so, to finish up my tale, this morning as I strolled
Along the boulevard I heard a voice I knew of old.
I saw a rosy little man with walrus-like mustache .
I stopped, I stared.
By all the gods! 'twas Julot the apache.
"I'm in the garden way," he said, "and doing mighty well;
I've half an acre under glass, and heaps of truck to sell.
Come out and see.
Oh come, my friend, on Sunday, wet or shine .
Say! -- it's the First Communion of that little girl of mine.
Andrew Barton Paterson |
So, the bank has bust it's boiler! And in six or seven year
It will pay me all my money back -- of course!
But the horse will perish waiting while the grass is germinating,
And I reckon I'll be something like the horse.
There's the ploughing to be finished and the ploughmen want their pay,
And I'd like to wire the fence and sink a tank;
But I own I'm fairly beat how I'm going to make ends meet
With my money in a reconstructed bank.
"It's a safe and sure investment!" But it's one I can't afford,
For I've got to meet my bills and bay the rent,
And the cash I had provided (so these meetings have decided)
Shall be collared by the bank at three per cent.
I can draw out half my money, so they tell me, from the Crown;
But -- it's just enough to drive a fellow daft --
My landlord's quite distressed, by this very bank he's pressed,
And he'll sell me up, to pay his overdraft.
There's my nearest neighbour, Johnson, owed this self-same bank a debt,
Every feather off his poor old back they pluck't,
For they set to work to shove him, and they sold his house above him,
Lord! They never gave him time to reconstruct.
And their profits from the business have been twenty-five per cent,
Which, I reckon, is a pretty tidy whack,
And I think it's only proper, now the thing has come a cropper,
That they ought to pay a little of it back.
I have read about "reserve funds", "banking freeholds", and the like,
Till I thought the bank had thousands of assets,
And it strikes me very funny that they take a fellow's money
When they haven't got enough to pay their debts.
And they say they've lent my money, and they can't get paid it back.
I know their rates per cent were tens and twelves;
And if they've made a blunder after scooping all this plunder,
Why, they ought to fork the money out themselves.
So all you bank shareholders, if you won't pay what you owe,
You will find that on your bank will fall a blight;
And the reason is because it's simply certain that deposits
Will be stopped, the bank will bust, and serve you right!
Andrew Barton Paterson |
'Twas Driver Smith of Battery A was anxious to see a fight;
He thought of the Transvaal all the day, he thought of it all the night --
"Well, if the battery's left behind, I'll go to the war," says he,
"I'll go a-driving and ambulance in the ranks of the A.
"I'm fairly sick of these here parades -- it's want of a change that kills --
A-charging the Randwick Rifle Range and aiming at Surry Hills.
And I think if I go with the ambulance I'm certain to find a show,
For they have to send the Medical men wherever the troops can go.
"Wherever the rifle bullets flash and the Maxims raise a din,
It's here you'll find the Medical men a-raking the wounded in --
A-raking 'em in like human flies -- and a driver smart like me
Will find some scope for his extra skill in the ranks of the A.
So Driver Smith he went to war a-cracking his driver's whip,
From ambulance to collecting base they showed him his regular trip.
And he said to the boys that were marching past, as he gave his whip a crack,
"You'll walk yourselves to the fight," says he -- "Lord spare me, I'll drive you back.
Now the fight went on in the Transvaal hills for the half of a day or more,
And Driver Smith he worked his trip -- all aboard for the seat of war!
He took his load from the stretcher men and hurried 'em homeward fast
Till he heard a sound that he knew full well -- a battery rolling past.
He heard the clink of the leading chains and the roll of the guns behind --
He heard the crack of the drivers' whips, and he says to 'em, "Strike me blind,
I'll miss me trip with this ambulance, although I don't care to shirk,
But I'll take the car off the line today and follow the guns at work.
Then up the Battery Colonel came a-cursing 'em black in the face.
"Sit down and shift 'e,, you drivers there, and gallop 'em into place.
So off the Battery rolled and swung, a-going a merry dance,
And holding his own with the leading gun goes Smith with his ambulance.
They opened fire on the mountain side, a-peppering by and large,
When over the hill above their flank the Boers came down at the charge;
They rushed the guns with a daring rush, a-volleying left and right,
And Driver Smith and his ambulance moved up to the edge of the fight.
The gunners stuck to their guns like men, and fought as the wild cats fight,
For a Battery man don't leave his gun with ever a hope in sight;
But the bullets sang and the Mausers cracked and the Battery men gave away,
Till Driver Smith with his ambulance drove into the thick of the fray.
He saw the head of the Transvaal troop a-thundering to and fro,
A hard old face with a monkey beard -- a face that he seemed to know;
"Now who's that leader?" said Driver Smith.
"I've seen him before today.
Why, bless my heart, but it's Kruger's self," and he jumped for him straight away.
He collared old Kruger round the waist and hustled him into the van.
It wasn't according to stretcher drill for raising a wounded man;
But he forced him in and said, "All aboard, we're off for a little ride,
And you'll have the car to yourself," says he, "I reckon we're full inside.
He wheeled his team on the mountain side and set 'em a merry pace,
A-galloping over the rocks and stones, and a lot of the Boers gave chase;
Bur Driver Smith had a fairish start, and he said to the Boers, "Good-day,
You have Buckley's chance for to catch a man that was trained in Battery A.
He drove his team to the hospital bed and said to the P.
"Beg pardon, sir, but I missed the trip, mistaking the way to go;
And Kruger came to the ambulance and asked could we spare a bed,
So I fetched him here, and we'll take him home to show for a bob a head.
So the word went round to the English troops to say they need fight no more,
For Driver Smith with his ambulance had ended the blooming war.
And in London now at the music halls he's starring it every night,
And drawing a hundred pounds a week to tell how he won the fight.
Andrew Barton Paterson |
Did you ever hear tell of Chili? I was readin' the other day
Of President Balmaceda and of how he was sent away.
It seems that he didn't suit 'em -- they thought that they'd like a change,
So they started an insurrection and chased him across the range.
They seem to be restless people -- and, judging by what you hear,
They raise up these revolutions 'bout two or three times a year;
And the man that goes out of office, he goes for the boundary quick,
For there isn't no vote by ballot -- it's bullets that does the trick.
And it ain't like a real battle, where the prisoners' lives are spared,
And they fight till there's one side beaten and then there's a truce declared,
And the man that has got the licking goes down like a blooming lord
To hand in his resignation and give up his blooming sword,
And the other man bows and takes it, and everything's all polite --
This wasn't that sort of a picnic, this wasn't that sort of a fight.
For the pris'ners they took -- they shot 'em, no odds were they small or great;
If they'd collared old Balmaceda, they reckoned to shoot him straight.
A lot of bloodthirsty devils they were -- but there ain't a doubt
They must have been real plucked uns, the way that they fought it out,
And the king of 'em all, I reckon, the man that could stand a pinch,
Was the boss of a one-horse gunboat.
They called her the Admiral Lynch.
Well, he was for Balmaceda, and after the war was done,
And Balmaceda was beaten and his troops had been forced to run,
The other man fetched his army and proceeded to do things brown.
He marched 'em into the fortress and took command of the town,
Cannon and guns and horses troopin' along the road,
Rumblin' over the bridges, and never a foeman showed
Till they came in sight of the harbour -- and the very first thing they see
Was this mite of a one-horse gunboat a-lying against the quay;
And there as they watched they noticed a flutter of crimson rag
And under their eyes he hoisted old Balmaceda's flag.
Well, I tell you it fairly knocked 'em -- it just took away their breath,
For he must ha' known, if they caught him, 'twas nothin' but sudden death.
Ad' he'd got no fire in his furnace, no chance to put out to sea,
So he stood by his gun and waited with his vessel against the quay.
Well, they sent him a civil message to say that the war was done,
And most of his side were corpses, and all that were left had run,
And blood had been spilt sufficient; so they gave him a chance to decide
If he's haul down his bit of bunting and come on the winning side.
He listened and heard their message, and answered them all polite
That he was a Spanish hidalgo, and the men of his race must fight!
A gunboat against an army, and with never a chance to run,
And them with their hundred cannon and him with a single gun:
The odds were a trifle heavy -- but he wasn't the sort to flinch.
So he opened fire on the army, did the boss of the Admiral Lynch.
They pounded his boat to pieces, they silenced his single gun,
And captured the whole consignment, for none of 'em cared to run;
And it don't say whether they shot him -- it don't even give his name --
But whatever they did I'll wager that he went to his graveyard game.
I tell you those old hidalgos, so stately and so polite,
They turn out the real Maginnis when it comes to an uphill fight.
There was General Alcantara, who died in the heaviest brunt,
And General Alzereca was killed in the battle's front;
But the king of 'em all, I reckon -- the man that could stand a pinch --
Was the man who attacked the army with the gunboat Admiral Lynch.