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- Embers, Volume 3. - 5/7 -


Take flight, my soul, my love returns no more!

AN ARAB LOVE SONG

The bed of my love I will sprinkle with attar of roses, The face of my love I will touch with the balm, With the balm of the tree from the farthermost wood, From the wood without end, in the world without end. My love holds the cup to my lips, and I drink of the cup, And the attar of roses I sprinkle will soothe like the evening dew, And the balm will be healing and sleep, and the cup I will drink, I will drink of the cup my love holds to my lips.

THE CAMEL-DRIVER TO HIS CAMEL

Fleet is thy foot: thou shalt rest by the etl tree; Water shalt thou drink from the blue-deep well; Allah send his gard'ner with the green bersim, For thy comfort, fleet one, by the etl tree. As the stars fly, have thy footsteps flown-- Deep is the well, drink, and be still once more; Till the pursuing winds, panting, have found thee And, defeated, sink still beside thee-- By the well and the etl tree.

THE TALL DAKOON

The Tall Dakoon, the bridle rein he shook, and called aloud, His Arab steed sprang down the mists which wrapped them like a shroud; But up there rang the clash of steel, the clanking silver chain, The war-cry of the Tall Dakoon, the moaning of the slain.

And long they fought--the Tall Dakoon, the children of the mist, But he was swift with lance and shield, and supple of the wrist, Yet if he rose, or if he fell, no man hath proof to show-- And wide the world beyond the mists, and deep the vales below!

For when a man, because of love, hath wrecked and burned his ships, And when a man for hate of love hath curses on his lips, Though he should be the peasant born, or be the Tall Dakoon, What matters then, of hap, or place, the mist comes none too soon!

THERE IS SORROW ON THE SEA

Our ship is a beautiful lady, Friendly and ready and fine; She runs her race with the storm in her face, Like a sea-bird over the brine.

In her household work no hand does shirk,-- No need of belaying-pins,-- And the captain dear and the engineer, They both look after the Twins:

The Twins that drive her to do her best Where the Roaring Forties rage From the Fastnet Height to the Liberty Light, And the Customs landing-stage.

Where the crank-shafts pitch in the iron ditch, Where the main-shaft swims and glides, Where the boilers keep, in the sullen deep, A master-hand on the Tides;

Where the reeking shuttle and booming bar Keep time in the hum of the toiling hive,-- The men of the deep, while the travellers sleep, Their steel-clad coursers drive.

And Davy Jones' locker is full Of the labour that moves the world; And brave they be who serve the sea To keep our flags unfurled:

The Union Jack and the Stripes and Stars, Gallant and free and true, In a world-wide trade, and a fame well made, And humanity's work to do.

Now list, ye landsmen, as ye roam, To the voice of the men offshore, Who've sailed in the old ship Never Return, With the great First Commodore.

They fitted foreign (God keeps the sea), They stepped aboard (God breaks the wind). And the babe that held by his father's knee, He leaves, with his lass, behind.

And the lad will sail as his father sailed, And a lass she will wait again; And he'll get his scrip in his father's ship, And he'll sail to the Southern Main;

And he'll sail to the North, and he'll make to the East, And he'll overhaul the West; And he'll pass outspent as his father went From his landbirds in the nest.

There are hearts that bleed, there are mouths to feed, (Now one and all, ye landsmen, list) And the rent's to pay on the quarter-day-- (What ye give will never be missed)

And you'll never regret, as your whistle you wet, In Avenue Number Five, That you gave your "quid" to the lonely kid And the widow, to keep 'em alive.

So out with your golden shilling, my lad, And your bright bank-note, my dear! We are safe to-night near the Liberty Light, And the mariner says, What Cheer!

THE AUSTRALIAN STOCKRIDER

I ride to the tramp and shuffle of hoofs Away to the wild waste land, I can see the sun on the station roofs, And a stretch of the shifting sand; The forest of horns is a shaking sea, Where white waves tumble and pass; The cockatoo screams in the myall-tree, And the adder-head gleams in the grass.

The clouds swing out from beyond the hills And valance the face of the sky, And the Spirit of Winds creeps up and fills The plains with a plaintive cry; A boundary-rider on lonely beat Creeps round the horizon's rim; He has little to do, and plenty to eat, And the world is a blank to him.

His friends are his pipe, and dog, and tea, His wants, they are soon supplied; And his mind, like the weeping myall-tree, May droop on his weary ride, But he lives his life in his quiet way, Forgetting,--perhaps forgot,-- Till another rider will come some day, And he will have ridden, God wot!

To the Wider Plains with the measureless bounds: And I know, if I had my choice, I would rather ride in those pleasant grounds, Than to sit 'neath the spell of the voice Of the sweetest seraph that you could find In all the celestial place; And I hope that the Father, whose heart is kind, When I speak to Him face to face,

Will give me something to do up there Among all the folks that have died, That will give me freedom and change of air, If it's only to boundary ride: For I somehow think, in the Great Stampede, When the world crowds up to the Bar, The unluckiest mortals will be decreed To camp on the luckiest star.

THE BRIDGE OF THE HUNDRED SPANS

It was the time that the Long Divide Blooms and glows like an hour-old bride; It was the days when the cattle come Back from their winter wand'rings home; Time when the Kicking Horse shows its teeth, Snarls and foams with a demon's breath;


Embers, Volume 3. - 5/7

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