The Sons of Martha

THE Sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited that good part; But the Sons of Martha favour their Mother of the careful soul and the troubled heart. And because she lost her temper once, and because she was rude to the Lord her Guest, Her Sons must wait upon Mary’s Sons, world without [...]

The Ballad of the Cars

“NOW this is the price of a stirrup-cup,” The kneeling doctor said. And syne he bade them take him up, For he saw that the man was dead. They took him up, and they laid him down (And, oh, he did not stir), And they had him into the nearest town To wait the Coroner. [...]

Four Feet: The Woman in his Life – Limits and Renewals

I have done mostly what most men do, And pushed it out of my mind; But I can’t forget, if I wanted to, Four-Feet trotting behind. Day after day, the whole day through? Wherever my road inclined? Four-Feet said, ‘I am coming with you!’ And trotted along behind. Now I must go by some other [...]

Dane-geld (A.D. 980-1016)

IT IS always a temptation to an armed and agile nation to call upon a neighbour and to say: – “We invaded you last night – we are quite prepared to fight, unless you pay us cash to go away.” And that is called asking for Dane-geld, and the people who ask it explain That [...]

A Tree Song (A.D. 1200)

Of all the trees that grow so fair, Old England to adorn, Greater than none beneath the sun, Than Oak and Ash, and Thorn. Sing Oak, and Ash, and Thorn, good sirs, (All of a Midsummer morn!) Surely we sing no lttle thing, In Oak, and Ash, and Thorn! Oak of the Clay lived many [...]

Eddi’s Service (A.D. 687)

EDDI, priest of St. Wilfrid In his chapel at Manhood End, Ordered a midnight service For such as cared to attend. But the Saxons were keeping Christmas, And the night was stormy as well. Nobody came to service, Though Eddi rang the bell. ‘Wicked weather for walking,’ Said Eddi of Manhood End. ‘But I must [...]

Ode, Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance, 1934

O LONG as memory, valour, and faith endure, Let these stones witness, through the years to come, How once there was a people fenced secure Behind great waters girdling a far home. Their own and their land’s youth ran side by side Heedless and headlong as their unyoked seas Lavish o’er all, and set in [...]

Mandalay

BY THE old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ lazy at the sea, There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me; For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say: “Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay! ” Come you back to Mandalay, where the old Flotilla [...]

The Recessional

God of our fathers, known of old, Lord of our far-flung battle-line, Beneath whose awful Hand we hold Dominion over palm and pine- Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget-lest we forget! The tumult and the shouting dies; The Captains and the Kings depart: Still stands thine ancient sacrifice, An humble [...]

The Children’s Song

LAND of our Birth, we pledge to thee Our love and toil in the years to be; When we are grown and take our place As men and women with our race. Father in Heaven who lovest all, Oh, help Thy children when they call; That they may build from age to age An undefiled [...]