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Title: A Song of the English
Author: Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Song of the English" ***

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[Illustration: CAME THE WHISPER, CAME THE VISION.
    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.]



         A SONG OF THE
            ENGLISH

          BY RUDYARD
            KIPLING

        _illustrated by_
        W. HEATH ROBINSON

    Hodder & Stoughton, London

_This Edition of 'A Song of the English' is reprinted from 'The Seven
Seas,' and the Publishers desire to acknowledge the courtesy of Messrs.
Methuen & Co. in consenting to its issue as a separate volume_



A SONG OF THE ENGLISH


    _Fair is our lot--O 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!_

    _Yea, though we sinned--and our rulers went from righteousness--
    Deep in all dishonour though we stained our garments' hem.
      Oh be ye not dismayed,
      Though we stumbled and we strayed,
    We were led by evil counsellors--the Lord shall deal with them!_

    _Hold ye the Faith--the Faith our Fathers sealèd us;
    Whoring not with visions--overwise and over-stale.
      Except ye pay the Lord
      Single heart and single sword,
    Of your children in their bondage shall He ask them treble-tale!_

    _Keep ye the Law--be swift in all obedience--
    Clear the land of evil, drive the road and bridge the ford.
      Make ye sure to each his own
      That he reap where he hath sown;
    By the peace among Our peoples let men know we serve the Lord!_

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Hear now a song--a song of broken interludes--
    A song of little cunning; of a singer nothing worth.
      Through the naked words and mean
      May ye see the truth between
    As the singer knew and touched it in the ends of all the Earth!_



THE COASTWISE LIGHTS


    Our brows are bound with spindrift and the weed is on our knees;
    Our loins are battered 'neath us by the swinging, smoking seas.
    From reef and rock and skerry--over headland ness, and voe--
    The Coastwise Lights of England watch the ships of England go!

    Through the endless summer evenings, on the lineless, level floors;
    Through the yelling Channel tempest when the siren hoots and roars--
    By day the dipping house-flag and by night the rocket's trail--
    As the sheep that graze behind us so we know them where they hail.

    We bridge across the dark and bid the helmsman have a care,
    The flash that wheeling inland wakes his sleeping wife to prayer;
    From our vexed eyries, head to gale, we bind in burning chains
    The lover from the sea-rim drawn--his love in English lanes.

    We greet the clippers wing-and-wing that race the Southern wool;
    We warn the crawling cargo-tanks of Bremen, Leith, and Hull;
    To each and all our equal lamp at peril of the sea--
    The white wall-sided warships or the whalers of Dundee!

[Illustration: THE COASTWISE LIGHTS OF ENGLAND.
    Come up, come in from Eastward, from the guardports of the Morn!
    Beat up, beat in from Southerly, O 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!]

    Come up, come in from Eastward, from the guard-ports of the Morn!
    Beat up, beat in from Southerly, O 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!

    Go, get you gone up-Channel with the sea-crust on your plates;
    Go, get you into London with the burden of your freights!
    Haste, for they talk of Empire there, and say, if any seek,
    The Lights of England sent you and by silence shall ye speak!



THE SONG OF THE DEAD


[Illustration: THE SONG OF THE DEAD.
    Follow after--we are waiting, by the trails that we lost,
    For the sounds of many footsteps, for the tread of a host.]


    _Hear now the Song of the Dead--in the North by the torn berg-edges--
    They that look still to the Pole, asleep by their hide-stripped
                    sledges.
    Song of the Dead in the South--in the sun by their skeleton horses,
    Where the warrigal whimpers and bays through the dust of the sere
                    river-courses._

    _Song of the Dead in the East--in the heat-rotted jungle hollows,
    Where the dog-ape barks in the kloof--in the brake of the
                    buffalo-wallows.
    Song of the Dead in the West--in the Barrens, the waste that
                    betrayed them,
    Where the wolverine tumbles their packs from the camp and the
                    grave-mound they made them;
        Hear now the Song of the Dead!_


I

    We were dreamers, dreaming greatly, in the man-stifled town;
    We yearned beyond the sky-line where the strange roads go down.
    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.
    As the deer breaks--as the steer breaks--from the herd where
                    they graze,
    In the faith of little children we went on our ways.

    Then the wood failed--then the food failed--then the last water dried--
    In the faith of little children we lay down and died.
    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.
    Follow after--follow after! We have watered the root,
    And the bud has come to blossom that ripens for fruit!

    Follow after--we are waiting, by the trails that we lost,
    For the sounds of many footsteps, for the tread of a host.
    Follow after--follow after--for the harvest is sown:
    By the bones about the wayside ye shall come to your own!

[Illustration: FOLLOW AFTER.
    Follow after--follow after--for the harvest is sown:
    By the bones about the wayside ye shall come to your own!]

    _When Drake went down to the Horn
      And England was crowned thereby,
    'Twixt seas unsailed and shores unhailed
      Our Lodge--our Lodge was born
      (And England was crowned thereby!)_

    _Which never shall close again
      By day nor yet by night,
    While man shall take his life to stake
      At risk of shoal or main
      (By day nor yet by night)_

    _But standeth even so
      As now we witness here,
    While men depart, of joyful heart
      Adventure for to know
      (As now bear witness here!)_


II

    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:
    We have strawed our best to the weed's unrest
      To the shark and the sheering gull.
    If blood be the price of admiralty,
      Lord God, we ha' paid in full!

[Illustration: LORD GOD, WE HA' PAID IN FULL!
    If blood be the price of admiralty,
      Lord God, we ha' paid in full!]

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

    We must feed our sea for a thousand years,
      For that is our doom and pride,
    As it was when they sailed with the _Golden Hind_,
      Or the wreck that struck last tide--
    Or the wreck that lies on the spouting reef
      Where the ghastly blue-lights flare.
    If blood be the price of admiralty,
    If blood be the price of admiralty,
    If blood be the price of admiralty,
      Lord God, we ha' bought it fair!



THE DEEP-SEA CABLES


    The wrecks dissolve above us; their dust drops down from afar--
    Down to the dark, to the utter dark, where the blind white
                    sea-snakes are.
    There is no sound, no echo of sound, in the deserts of the deep,
    Or the great grey level plains of ooze where the shell-buried
                    cables creep.

    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.

    They have wakened the timeless Things; they have killed their
                    father Time;
      Joining hands in the gloom, a league from the last of the sun.
    Hush! Men talk to-day o'er the waste of the ultimate slime,
      And a new Word runs between: whispering, 'Let us be one!'



THE SONG OF THE SONS


    One from the ends of the earth--gifts at an open door--
    Treason has much, but we, Mother, thy sons have more!
    From the whine of a dying man, from the snarl of a wolf-pack freed,
    Turn, and the world is thine. Mother, be proud of thy seed!
    Count, are we feeble or few? Hear, is our speech so rude?
    Look, are we poor in the land? Judge, are we men of The Blood?

[Illustration: WE THAT WERE BRED OVERSEAS.
    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.]

    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.
    Gifts have we only to-day--Love without promise or fee--
    Hear, for thy children speak, from the uttermost parts of the sea!



THE SONG OF THE CITIES


BOMBAY

    Royal and Dower-royal, I the Queen
      Fronting thy richest sea with richer hands--
    A thousand mills roar through me where I glean
      All races from all lands.

[Illustration: BOMBAY.
    Royal and Dower-royal, I the Queen
      Fronting thy richest sea with richer hands--
    A thousand mills roar through me where I glean
      All races from all lands.]


CALCUTTA

    Me the Sea-captain loved, the River built,
      Wealth sought and Kings adventured life to hold.
    Hail, England! I am Asia--Power on silt,
      Death in my hands, but Gold!


MADRAS

    Clive kissed me on the mouth and eyes and brow,
      Wonderful kisses, so that I became
    Crowned above Queens--a withered beldame now,
      Brooding on ancient fame.


RANGOON

    Hail, Mother! Do they call me rich in trade?
      Little care I, but hear the shorn priest drone,
    And watch my silk-clad lovers, man by maid,
      Laugh 'neath my Shwe Dagon.


SINGAPORE

    Hail, Mother! East and West must seek my aid
      Ere the spent gear may dare the ports afar.
    The second doorway of the wide world's trade
      Is mine to loose or bar.


HONG-KONG

    Hail, Mother! Hold me fast; my Praya sleeps
      Under innumerable keels to-day.
    Yet guard (and landward), or to-morrow sweeps
      Thy warships down the bay!


HALIFAX

    Into the mist my guardian prows put forth,
      Behind the mist my virgin ramparts lie,
    The Warden of the Honour of the North,
      Sleepless and veiled am I!


QUEBEC AND MONTREAL

    Peace is our portion. Yet a whisper rose,
      Foolish and causeless, half in jest, half hate.
    Now wake we and remember mighty blows,
      And fearing no man, wait!


VICTORIA

    From East to West the circling word has passed,
      Till West is East beside our land-locked blue;
    From East to West the tested chain holds fast,
      The well-forged link rings true!


CAPETOWN

    Hail! Snatched and bartered oft from hand to hand,
      I dream my dream, by rock and heath and pine,
    Of Empire to the northward. Ay, one land
      From Lion's Head to Line!


MELBOURNE

    Greeting! Nor fear nor favour won us place,
      Got between greed of gold and dread of drouth,
    Loud-voiced and reckless as the wild tide-race
      That whips our harbour-mouth!


SYDNEY

    Greeting! My birth-stain have I turned to good;
      Forcing strong wills perverse to steadfastness;
    The first flush of the tropics in my blood,
      And at my feet Success!


BRISBANE

    The northern stirp beneath the southern skies--
      I build a Nation for an Empire's need,
    Suffer a little, and my land shall rise,
      Queen over lands indeed!


HOBART

    Man's love first found me; man's hate made me Hell;
      For my babes' sake I cleansed those infamies.
    Earnest for leave to live and labour well,
      God flung me peace and ease.


AUCKLAND

    Last, loneliest, loveliest, exquisite, apart--
      On us, on us the unswerving season smiles
    Who wonder 'mid our fern why men depart
      To seek the Happy Isles!



ENGLAND'S ANSWER


    Truly ye come of The Blood; slower to bless than to ban;
    Little used to lie down at the bidding of any man.
    Flesh of the flesh that I bred, bone of the bone that I bare;
    Stark as your sons shall be--stern as your fathers were.
    Deeper than speech our love, stronger than life our tether,
    But we do not fall on the neck nor kiss when we come together.

[Illustration: MY ARM IS NOTHING WEAK, MY STRENGTH IS NOT GONE BY.
    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.]

    My arm is nothing weak, my strength is not gone by;
    Sons, I have borne many sons, but my dugs are not dry.
    Look, I have made ye a place and opened wide the doors,
    That ye may talk together, your Barons and Councillors--
    Wards of the Outer March, Lords of the Lower Seas,
    Ay, talk to your grey mother that bore you on her knees!--

    That ye may talk together, brother to brother's face--
    Thus for the good of your peoples--thus for the Pride of the Race.
    Also, we will make promise. So long as The Blood endures,
    I shall know that your good is mine: ye shall feel that my
                    strength is yours:
    In the day of Armageddon, at the last great fight of all,
    That Our House stand together and the pillars do not fall.

    Draw now the threefold knot firm on the ninefold bands,
    And the Law that ye make shall be law after the rule of your lands.
    This for the waxen Heath, and that for the Wattle-bloom,
    This for the Maple-leaf, and that for the southern Broom.
    The Law that ye make shall be law and I do not press my will,
    Because ye are Sons of The Blood and call me Mother still.

    Now must ye speak to your kinsmen and they must speak to you,
    After the use of the English, in straight-flung words and few.
    Go to your work and be strong, halting not in your ways,
    Baulking the end half-won for an instant dole of praise.
    Stand to your work and be wise--certain of sword and pen,
    Who are neither children nor Gods, but men in a world of men!


_Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty_

       *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's Notes


One typo corrected: burred for buried.

Our peoples (page 15) left with capital O as in book text.





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