If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
‘What are the bugles blowin’ for?' said Files—on—Parade.
‘To turn you out, to turn you out,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.
‘What makes you look so white, so white?’ said Files—on—Parade.
‘I’m dreadin’ what I’ve got to watch,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.
For they’re hangin’ Danny Deever, you can hear the Dead March play,
The Regiment’s in ’ollow square—they’re hangin’ him to—day;
They’ve taken of his buttons off an’ cut his stripes away,
An’ they’re hangin’ Danny Deever in the mornin’.
‘What makes the rear—rank breathe so ’ard?’ said Files—on—Parade.
‘It’s bitter cold, it’s bitter cold,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.
‘What makes that front—rank man fall down?’ said Files—on—Parade.
‘A touch o’ sun, a touch o’ sun,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.
They are hangin’ Danny Deever, they are marchin’ of ’im round,
They ’ave ’alted Danny Deever by ’is coffin on the ground;
An’ ’e’ll swing in ’arf a minute for a sneakin’ shootin’ hound—
O they’re hangin’ Danny Deever in the mornin!’
‘’Is cot was right—’and cot to mine,’ said Files—on—Parade.
‘’E’s sleepin’ out an’ far to—night,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.
‘I’ve drunk ’is beer a score o’ times,’ said Files—on—Parade.
‘’E’s drinkin’ bitter beer alone,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.
They are hangin’ Danny Deever, you must mark ’im to ’is place,
For ’e shot a comrade sleepin’—you must look ’im in the face;
Nine ’undred of ’is county an’ the Regiment’s disgrace,
While they’re hangin’ Danny Deever in the mornin’.
‘What’s that so black agin the sun?’ said Files—on—Parade.
‘It’s Danny fightin’ ’ard for life,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.
‘What’s that that whimpers over’ead?’ said Files—on—Parade.
‘It’s Danny’s soul that’s passin’ now,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.
For they’re done with Danny Deever, you can ’ear the quickstep play,
The Regiment’s in column, an’ they’re marchin’ us away;
Ho! the young recruits are shakin’, an’ they’ll want their beer to—day,
After hangin’ Danny Deever in the mornin’!
“GAY go up and gay go down
To ring the Bells of London Town.”
When London Town’s asleep in bed
You’ll hear the Bells ring overhead.
In excelsis gloria!
Ringing for Victoria,
Ringing for their mighty mistress–ten years dead!
Here is more gain than Gloriana guessed–
Than Gloriana guessed or Indies bring–
Than golden Indies bring. A Queen confessed–
A Queen confessed that crowned her people King.
Her people King, and crowned all Kings above,
Above all Kings have crowned their Queen their love–
Have crowned their love their Queen, their Queen their love!
Denying her, we do ourselves deny,
Disowning her are we ourselves disowned.
Mirror was she of our fidelity,
And handmaid of our destiny enthroned;
The very marrow of Youth’s dream, and still
Yoke—mate of wisest Age that worked her will!
Our fathers had declared to us her praise–
Her praise the years had proven past all speech.
And past all speech our loyal hearts always,
Always our hearts lay open, each to each–
Therefore men gave the treasure of their blood
To this one woman–for she understood!
Four o’ the clock! Now all the world is still.
Oh, London Bells, to all the world declare
The Secret of the Empire–read who will!
The Glory of the People–touch who dare!
Power that has reached itself all kingly powers,
St. Margaret’s: By love o’erpowered–
St. Martin’s: By love o’erpowered–
St. Clement Danes: By love o’erpowered,
The greater power confers!
For we were hers, as she, as she was ours,
Bow Bells: And she was ours–
St. Paul’s: And she was ours–
Westminister: And she was ours,
As we, even we, were hers!
As we were hers!
When the drums begin to beat
Down the street,
When the poles are fetched and guyed,
When the tight-rope’s stretched and tied,
When the dance-girls make salaam,
When the snake-bag wakes alarm,
When the pipes set up their drone,
When the sharp-edged knives are thrown
When the red-hot coals are shown,
To be swallowed by-and-by—
Arre, Brethren, here come I!
Stripped to loin-cloth in the sun,
Search me well and watch me close!
Tell me how my tricks are done—
Tell me how the mango grows!
Give a man who is not made
To his trade
Swords to fling and catch again,
Coins to ring and snatch again,
Men to harm and cure again,
Snakes to charm and lure again—
He’ll be hurt by his own blade,
By his serpents disobeyed,
By his clumsiness bewrayed,
By the people laughed to scorn—
So 'tis not with juggler born!
Pinch of dust or withered flower,
Chance-flung nut or borrowed staff,
Serve his need and shore his power,
Bind the spell or loose the laugh!
China—going P. & O.'s
Pass Pau Amma’s playground close,
And his Pusat Tasek lies
Near the track of most B.I.'s.
N.Y.K. and N.D.L.
Know Pau Amma’s home as well
As the Fisher of the Sea knows
“ Bens,” M.M.'s and Rubattinos.
But (and this is rather queer)
A.T.L.'s can not come here;
O. and O. and D.O.A.
Must go round another way.
Orient, Anchor, Bibby, Hall,
Never go that way at all.
U.C.S. would have a fit
If it found itself on it.
And if “ Beavers ” took their cargoes
To Penang instead of Lagos,
Or a fat Shaw—Savill bore
Passengers to Singapore,
Or a White Star were to try a
Little trip to Sourabaya,
Or a B.S.A. went on
Past Natal to Cheribon,
Then great Mr. Lloyds would come
With a wire and drag them home
You’ll know what my riddle means
When you’ve eaten mangosteens.
I’VE NEVER sailed the Amazon,
I’ve never reached Brazil;
But the Don and Magdalena,
They can go there when they will!
Yes, weekly from Southampton,
Great steamers, white and gold,
Go rolling down to Rio
(Roll down—roll down to Rio!)
And I’d like to roll to Rio
Some day before I’m old!
I’ve never seen a Jaguar,
Nor yet an Armadill
O dilloing in his armour,
And I s’pose I never will,
Unless I go to Rio
These wonders to behold
Roll down—roll down to Rio
Roll really down to Rio!
Oh, I’d love to roll to Rio
Some day before I’m old!
WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he—bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she—bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man,
He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can.
But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws.
’Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
Man’s timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
For the Woman that God gave him isn’t his to give away;
But when hunter meets with husband, each confirms the other’s tale—
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.
Man, a bear in most relations—worm and savage otherwise,—
Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.
Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
Mirth obscene diverts his anger—Doubt and Pity oft perplex
Him in dealing with an issue—to the scandal of The Sex!
But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.
She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity—must not swerve for fact or jest.
These be purely male diversions—not in these her honour dwells.
She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.
She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.
And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.
She is wedded to convictions—in default of grosser ties;
Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!—
He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white—hot, wild,
Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.
Unprovoked and awful charges—even so the she—bear fights,
Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons—even so the cobra bites,
Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
And the victim writhes in anguish—like the Jesuit with the squaw!
So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
With his fellow—braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
To some God of Abstract justice—which no woman understands.
And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.
About the time that taverns shut
And men can buy no beer,
Two lads went up to the keepers’ hut
To steal Lord Pelham’s deer.
Night and the liquor was in their heads —
They laughed and talked no bounds,
Till they waked the keepers on their beds
And the keepers loosed the hounds.
They had killed a hart, they had killed a hind,
Ready to carry away,
When they heard a whimper down the wind
And they heard a bloodhound bay.
They took and ran across the fern,
Their crossbows in their hand,
Till they met a man with a green lantern
That called and bade 'em stand.
“What are ye doing, O Flesh and Blood,
And what’s your foolish will,
That you must break into Minepit Wood
And wake the Folk of the Hill?”
“Oh, we’ve broke into Lord Pelham’s park,
And killed Lord Pelham’s deer,
And if ever you heard a little dog bark
You’ll know why we come here.
”We ask you let us go our way,
As fast as we can flee,
For if ever you heard a bloodhound bay
You’ll know how pressed we be."
“Oh, lay your crossbows on the bank
And drop the knives from your hand,
And though the hounds be at your flank
I’ll save you where you stand!”
They laid their crossbows on the bank,
They threw their knives in the wood,
And the ground before them opened and sank
And saved 'em where they stood.
“Oh, what’s the roaring in our ears
That strikes us well—nigh dumb?”
“Oh, that is just how things appears
According as they come.”
“What are the stars before our eyes
That strike us well—nigh blind?”
“Oh, that is just how things arise
According as you find.”
“And why’s our bed so hard to the bones
Excepting where it’s cold?”
“Oh, that’s because it is precious stones
Excepting where 'tis gold.
”Think it over as you stand,
For I tell you without fail,
If you haven’t got into Fairyland
You’re not in Lewes Gaol."
All night long they thought of it,
And, come the dawn, they saw
They’d tumbled into a great old pit,
At the bottom of Minepit Shaw.
And the keeper’s hound had followed 'em close,
And broke her neck in the fall;
So they picked up their knives and their crossbows
And buried the dog. That’s all.
But whether the man was a poacher too
Or a Pharisee’ so bold —
I reckon there’s more things told than are true.
And more things true than are told.
IN the High and Far-Off Times the Elephant, O Best Beloved, had no trunk. He had only a blackish, bulgy nose, as big as a boot, that he could wriggle about from side to side; but he couldn’t pick up things with it. But there was one Elephant—a new Elephant—an Elephant’s Child—who was full of ‘satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions. And he lived in Africa, and he filled all Africa with his ’satiable curtiosities. He asked his tall aunt, the Ostrich, why her tail-feathers grew just so, and his tall aunt the Ostrich spanked him with her hard, hard claw. He asked his tall uncle, the Giraffe, what made his skin spotty, and his tall uncle, the Giraffe, spanked him with his hard, hard hoof. And still he was full of ‘satiable curtiosity! He asked his broad aunt, the Hippopotamus, why her eyes were red, and his broad aunt, the Hippopotamus, spanked him with her broad, broad hoof; and he asked his hairy uncle, the Baboon, why melons tasted just so, and his hairy uncle, the Baboon, spanked him with his hairy, hairy paw. And still he was full of ’satiable curtiosity! He asked questions about everything that he saw, or heard, or felt, or smelt, or touched, and all his uncles and his aunts spanked him. And still he was full of ‘satiable curtiosity!
One fine morning in the middle of the Precession of the Equinoxes this ’satiable Elephant’s Child asked a new fine question that he had never asked before. He asked, ‘What does the Crocodile have for dinner?’ Then everybody said, ‘Hush!’ in a loud and dretful tone, and they spanked him immediately and directly, without stopping, for a long time.
By and by, when that was finished, he came upon Kolokolo Bird sitting in the middle of a wait-a-bit thorn-bush, and he said, ‘My father has spanked me, and my mother has spanked me; all my aunts and uncles have spanked me for my ’satiable curtiosity; and still I want to know what the Crocodile has for dinner!'
Then Kolokolo Bird said, with a mournful cry, ‘Go to the banks of the great grey—green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, and find out.’
That very next morning, when there was nothing left of the Equinoxes, because the Precession had preceded according to precedent, this 'satiable Elephant’s Child took a hundred pounds of bananas (the little short red kind), and a hundred pounds of sugar—cane (the long purple kind), and seventeen melons (the greeny-crackly kind), and said to all his dear families, ‘Goodbye. I am going to the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, to find out what the Crocodile has for dinner.’ And they all spanked him once more for luck, though he asked them most politely to stop.
Then he went away, a little warm, but not at all astonished, eating melons, and throwing the rind about, because he could not pick it up.
He went from Graham’s Town to Kimberley, and from Kimberley to Khama’s Country, and from Khama’s Country he went east by north, eating melons all the time, till at last he came to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever—trees, precisely as Kolokolo Bird had said.
Now you must know and understand, O Best Beloved, that till that very week, and day, and hour, and minute, this 'satiable Elephant’s Child had never seen a Crocodile, and did not know what one was like. It was all his ‘satiable curtiosity.
The first thing that he found was a Bi-Coloured-Python-Roc-Snake curled round a rock.
’Scuse me,' said the Elephant’s Child most politely, ‘but have you seen such a thing as a Crocodile in these promiscuous parts?’
‘Have I seen a Crocodile?’ said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake, in a voice of dretful scorn. ‘What will you ask me next?’
‘Scuse me,’ said the Elephant’s Child, ‘but could you kindly tell me what he has for dinner?’
Then the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake uncoiled himself very quickly from the rock, and spanked the Elephant’s Child with his scalesome, flailsome tail.
‘That is odd,’ said the Elephant’s Child, ‘because my father and my mother, and my uncle and my aunt, not to mention my other aunt, the Hippopotamus, and my other uncle, the Baboon, have all spanked me for my ’satiable curtiosity—and I suppose this is the same thing.
So he said good—bye very politely to the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake, and helped to coil him up on the rock again, and went on, a little warm, but not at all astonished, eating melons, and throwing the rind about, because he could not pick it up, till he trod on what he thought was a log of wood at the very edge of the great grey—green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees.
But it was really the Crocodile, O Best Beloved, and the Crocodile winked one eye—like this!
‘Scuse me,’ said the Elephant’s Child most politely, ‘but do you happen to have seen a Crocodile in these promiscuous parts?’
Then the Crocodile winked the other eye, and lifted half his tail out of the mud; and the Elephant’s Child stepped back most politely, because he did not wish to be spanked again.
‘Come hither, Little One,’ said the Crocodile. ‘Why do you ask such things?’
‘Scuse me,’ said the Elephant’s Child most politely, 'but my father has spanked me, my mother has spanked me, not to mention my tall aunt, the Ostrich, and my tall uncle, the Giraffe, who can kick ever so hard, as well as my broad aunt, the Hippopotamus, and my hairy uncle, the Baboon, and including the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake, with the scalesome, flailsome tail, just up the bank, who spanks harder than any of them; and so, if it’s quite all the same to you, I don’t want to be spanked any more.'
‘Come hither, Little One,’ said the Crocodile, ‘for I am the Crocodile,’ and he wept crocodile—tears to show it was quite true.
Then the Elephant’s Child grew all breathless, and panted, and kneeled down on the bank and said, ‘You are the very person I have been looking for all these long days. Will you please tell me what you have for dinner?’
‘Come hither, Little One,’ said the Crocodile, 'and I’ll whisper.'
Then the Elephant’s Child put his head down close to the Crocodile’s musky, tusky mouth, and the Crocodile caught him by his little nose, which up to that very week, day, hour, and minute, had been no bigger than a boot, though much more useful.
‘I think, said the Crocodile—and he said it between his teeth, like this—’I think to-day I will begin with Elephant’s Child!'
At this, O Best Beloved, the Elephant’s Child was much annoyed, and he said, speaking through his nose, like this, ‘Led go! You are hurtig be!’
Then the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake scuffled down from the bank and said, 'My young friend, if you do not now, immediately and instantly, pull as hard as ever you can, it is my opinion that your acquaintance in the large—pattern leather ulster’ (and by this he meant the Crocodile) ‘will jerk you into yonder limpid stream before you can say Jack Robinson.’
This is the way Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snakes always talk.
Then the Elephant’s Child sat back on his little haunches, and pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and his nose began to stretch. And the Crocodile floundered into the water, making it all creamy with great sweeps of his tail, and he pulled, and pulled, and pulled.
And the Elephant’s Child’s nose kept on stretching; and the Elephant’s Child spread all his little four legs and pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and his nose kept on stretching; and the Crocodile threshed his tail like an oar, and he pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and at each pull the Elephant’s Child’s nose grew longer and longer—and it hurt him hijjus!
Then the Elephant’s Child felt his legs slipping, and he said through his nose, which was now nearly five feet long, ‘This is too butch for be!’
Then the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake came down from the bank, and knotted himself in a double—clove—hitch round the Elephant’s Child’s hind legs, and said, 'Rash and inexperienced traveller, we will now seriously devote ourselves to a little high tension, because if we do not, it is my impression that yonder self—propelling man—of—war with the armour—plated upper deck’ (and by this, O Best Beloved, he meant the Crocodile), 'will permanently vitiate your future career.
That is the way all Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snakes always talk.
So he pulled, and the Elephant’s Child pulled, and the Crocodile pulled; but the Elephant’s Child and the Bi—Coloured—Python—Rock—Snake pulled hardest; and at last the Crocodile let go of the Elephant’s Child’s nose with a plop that you could hear all up and down the Limpopo.
Then the Elephant’s Child sat down most hard and sudden; but first he was careful to say 'Thank you’ to the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake; and next he was kind to his poor pulled nose, and wrapped it all up in cool banana leaves, and hung it in the great grey—green, greasy Limpopo to cool.
‘What are you doing that for?’ said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake.
‘Scuse me,’ said the Elephant’s Child, ‘but my nose is badly out of shape, and I am waiting for it to shrink.
’Then you will have to wait a long time, said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake. ‘Some people do not know what is good for them.’
The Elephant’s Child sat there for three days waiting for his nose to shrink. But it never grew any shorter, and, besides, it made him squint. For, O Best Beloved, you will see and understand that the Crocodile had pulled it out into a really truly trunk same as all Elephants have to-day.
At the end of the third day a fly came and stung him on the shoulder, and before he knew what he was doing he lifted up his trunk and hit that fly dead with the end of it.
‘Vantage number one!’ said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake. ’You couldn’t have done that with a mere—smear nose. Try and eat a little now.'
Before he thought what he was doing the Elephant’s Child put out his trunk and plucked a large bundle of grass, dusted it clean against his fore—legs, and stuffed it into his own mouth.
‘Vantage number two!’ said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake. ’You couldn’t have done that with a mear—smear nose. Don’t you think the sun is very hot here?'
‘It is,’ said the Elephant’s Child, and before he thought what he was doing he schlooped up a schloop of mud from the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo, and slapped it on his head, where it made a cool schloopy-sloshy mud-cap all trickly behind his ears.
‘Vantage number three!’ said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake. ’You couldn’t have done that with a mere—smear nose. Now how do you feel about being spanked again?'
‘Scuse me,’ said the Elephant’s Child, ‘but I should not like it at all.’
‘How would you like to spank somebody?’ said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake.
‘I should like it very much indeed,’ said the Elephant’s Child.
‘Well,’ said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake, ‘you will find that new nose of yours very useful to spank people with.’
‘Thank you,’ said the Elephant’s Child, 'I’ll remember that; and now I think I’ll go home to all my dear families and try.'
So the Elephant’s Child went home across Africa frisking and whisking his trunk. When he wanted fruit to eat he pulled fruit down from a tree, instead of waiting for it to fall as he used to do. When he wanted grass he plucked grass up from the ground, instead of going on his knees as he used to do. When the flies bit him he broke off the branch of a tree and used it as fly-whisk; and he made himself a new, cool, slushy-squshy mud-cap whenever the sun was hot. When he felt lonely walking through Africa he sang to himself down his trunk, and the noise was louder than several brass bands.
He went especially out of his way to find a broad Hippopotamus (she was no relation of his), and he spanked her very hard, to make sure that the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake had spoken the truth about his new trunk. The rest of the time he picked up the melon rinds that he had dropped on his way to the Limpopo—for he was a Tidy Pachyderm.
One dark evening he came back to all his dear families, and he coiled up his trunk and said, ‘How do you do?’ They were very glad to see him, and immediately said, ‘Come here and be spanked for your ’satiable curtiosity.'
‘Pooh,’ said the Elephant’s Child. 'I don’t think you peoples know anything about spanking; but I do, and I’ll show you.' Then he uncurled his trunk and knocked two of his dear brothers head over heels.
‘O Bananas!’ said they, ‘where did you learn that trick, and what have you done to your nose?’
‘I got a new one from the Crocodile on the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River,’ said the Elephant’s Child. ‘I asked him what he had for dinner, and he gave me this to keep.’
‘It looks very ugly,’ said his hairy uncle, the Baboon.
‘It does,’ said the Elephant’s Child. 'But it’s very useful,' and he picked up his hairy uncle, the Baboon, by one hairy leg, and hove him into a hornet’s nest.
Then that bad Elephant’s Child spanked all his dear families for a long time, till they were very warm and greatly astonished. He pulled out his tall Ostrich aunt’s tail—feathers; and he caught his tall uncle, the Giraffe, by the hind-leg, and dragged him through a thorn-bush; and he shouted at his broad aunt, the Hippopotamus, and blew bubbles into her ear when she was sleeping in the water after meals; but he never let any one touch Kolokolo Bird.
At last things grew so exciting that his dear families went off one by one in a hurry to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, to borrow new noses from the Crocodile. When they came back nobody spanked anybody any more; and ever since that day, O Best Beloved, all the Elephants you will ever see, besides all those that you won’t, have trunks precisely like the trunk of the 'satiable Elephant’s Child.
I Keep six honest serving-men:
(They taught me all I knew)
Their names are What and Where and When
And How and Why and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.
I let them rest from nine till five.
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men:
But different folk have different views:
I know a person small—
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!
She sends 'em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes—
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!
You couldn’t pack a Broadwood half a mile—
You mustn’t leave a fiddle in the damp—
You couldn’t raft an organ up the Nile,
And play it in an Equatorial swamp.
I travel with the cooking-pots and pails—
I’m sandwiched ’tween the coffee and the pork—
And when the dusty column checks and tails,
You should hear me spur the rearguard to a walk!
With my ‘Pilly-willy-winky-winky-popp!’
[Oh, it’s any tune that comes into my head!]
So I keep ’em moving forward till they drop;
So I play ’em up to water and to bed.
In the silence of the camp before the fight,
When it’s good to make your will and say your prayer,
You can hear my strumpty-tumpty overnight,
Explaining ten to one was always fair.
I’m the Prophet of the Utterly Absurd,
Of the Patently Impossible and Vain—
And when the Thing that Couldn’t has occurred,
Give me time to change my leg and go again.
With my ‘Tumpa-tumpa-tumpa-tumpa-tump!’
In the desert where the dung-fed camp-smoke curled.
There was never voice before us till I led our lonely chorus,
I—the war-drum of the White Man round the world!
By the bitter road the Younger Son must tread,
Ere he win to hearth and saddle of his own,—
’Mid the riot of the shearers at the shed,
In the silence of the herder’s hut alone—
In the twilight, on a bucket upside down,
Hear me babble what the weakest won’t confess—
I am Memory and Torment—I am Town!
I am all that ever went with evening dress!
With my ‘Tunka-tunka-tunka-tunka-tunk!’
[So the lights—the London Lights—grow near and plain!]
So I rowel ’em afresh towards the Devil and the Flesh
Till I bring my broken rankers home again.
In desire of many marvels over sea,
Where the new-raised tropic city sweats and roars,
I have sailed with Young Ulysses from the quay
Till the anchor rumbled down on stranger shores.
He is blooded to the open and the sky,
He is taken in a snare that shall not fail,
He shall hear me singing strongly, till he die,
Like the shouting of a backstay in a gale.
With my ‘Hya! Heeya! Heeya! Hullah! Haul!’
[Oh, the green that thunders aft along the deck!]
Are you sick o’ towns and men? You must sign and sail again,
For it’s ‘Johnny Bowlegs, pack your kit and trek!’
Through the gorge that gives the stars at noon-day clear—
Up the pass that packs the scud beneath our wheel—
Round the bluff that sinks her thousand fathom sheer—
Down the valley with our guttering brakes asqueal:
Where the trestle groans and quivers in the snow,
Where the many-shedded levels loop and twine,
Hear me lead my reckless children from below
Till we sing the Song of Roland to the pine!
With my ‘Tinka-tinka-tinka-tinka-tink!’
[Oh, the axe has cleared the mountain, croup and crest!]
And we ride the iron stallions down to drink,
Through the cañons to the waters of the West!
And the tunes that mean so much to you alone—
Common tunes that make you choke and blow your nose—
Vulgar tunes that bring the laugh that brings the groan—
I can rip your very heartstrings out with those;
With the feasting, and the folly, and the fun—
And the lying, and the lusting, and the drink,
And the merry play that drops you, when you’re done.
To the thoughts that burn like irons if you think.
With my ‘Plunka-lunka-lunka-lunka-lunk!’
Here’s a trifle on account of pleasure past,
Ere the wit that made you win gives you eyes to see your sin
And—the heavier repentance at the last!
Let the organ moan her sorrow to the roof—
I have told the naked stars the Grief of Man!
Let the trumpet snare the foeman to the proof—
I have known Defeat, and mocked it as we ran!
My bray ye may not alter nor mistake
When I stand to jeer the fatted Soul of Things,
But the Song of Lost Endeavour that I make,
Is it hidden in the twanging of the strings?
With my ‘Ta-ra-rara-rara-ra-ra-rrrp!’
[Is it naught to you that hear and pass me by?]
But the word—the word is mine, when the order moves the line
And the lean, locked ranks go roaring down to die!
The grandam of my grandam was the Lyre—
[Oh, the blue below the little fisher-huts!]
That the Stealer stooping beachward filled with fire,
Till she bore my iron head and ringing guts!
By the wisdom of the centuries I speak—
To the tune of yestermorn I set the truth—
I, the joy of life unquestioned—I, the Greek—
I, the everlasting Wonder-song of Youth!
With my ‘Tinka-tinka-tinka-tinka-tink!’
[What d’ye lack, my noble masters! What d’ye lack?]
So I draw the world together link by link:
Yea, from Delos up to Limerick and back!