The Silent Ones

I'm just an ordinary chap
Who comes home to his tea,
And mostly I don't care a rap
What people think of me;
I do my job and take my pay,
And love of peace expound;
But as I go my patient way,
--Don't push me round.

Though I respect authority
And order never flout,
When Law and Justice disagree
You can include me out.
The Welfare State I tolerate
If it is kept in bound,
But if you wish to rouse my hate
--Just push me round.


The Seed

I was a seed that fell
In silver dew;
And nobody could tell,
For no one knew;
No one could tell my fate,
As I grew tall;
None visioned me with hate,
No, none at all.

A sapling I became,
Blest by the sun;
No rumour of my shame
Had any one.
Oh I was proud indeed,
And sang with glee,
When from a tiny seed
I grew a tree.

I was so stout and strong
Though still so young,


The Settler

(South African War ended, May, 1902)


Here, where my fresh-turned furrows run,
And the deep soil glistens red,
I will repair the wrong that was done
To the living and the dead.
Here, where the senseless bullet fell,
And the barren shrapnel burst,
I will plant a tree, I will dig a well,
Against the heat and the thirst.

Here, in a large and a sunlit land,
Where no wrong bites to the bone,
I will lay my hand in my neighbour's hand,
And together we will atone


The Song of the Garden-Toad

Down, down beneath the daisy beds,
O hear the cries of pain!
And moaning on the cinder-path
They're blind amid the rain.
Can murmurs of the worms arise
To higher hearts than mine?
I wonder if that gardener hears
Who made the mold all fine
And packed each gentle seedling down
So carefully in line?

I watched the red rose reaching up
To ask him if he heard
Those cries that stung the evening earth
Till all the rose-roots stirred.
She asked him if he felt the hate


The Sins of the Fathers

"And the sins of the fathers shall be
visited upon the heads of the children,
even unto the third and fourth
generation of them that hate me."

Well, then I hate thee, unrighteous picture;
Wicked image, I hate thee;
So, strike with thy vengeance
The heads of those little men
Who come blindly.
It will be a brave thing.


The Sinner and The Spider

Sinner.

What black, what ugly crawling thing art thou?

Spider.

I am a spider——————-

Sinner.

A spider, ay, also a filthy creature.

Spider.

Not filthy as thyself in name or feature.
My name entailed is to my creation,
My features from the God of thy salvation.

Sinner.

I am a man, and in God's image made,
I have a soul shall neither die nor fade,
God has possessed me with human reason,
Speak not against me lest thou speakest treason.


The Second Oldest Story

Go I must along my ways
Though my heart be ragged,
Dripping bitter through the days,
Festering, and jagged.
Smile I must at every twinge,
Kiss, to time its throbbing;
He that tears a heart to fringe
Hates the noise of sobbing.

Weep, my love, till Heaven hears;
Curse and moan and languish.
While I wash your wound with tears,
Ease aloud your anguish.
Bellow of the pit in Hell
Where you're made to linger.
There and there and well and well-
Did he prick his finger!


The Sea

There are certain things -a spider, a ghost,
The income-tax, gout, an umbrella for three -
That I hate, but the thing that I hate the most
Is a thing they call the SEA.

Pour some salt water over the floor -
Ugly I'm sure you'll allow it to be:
Suppose it extended a mile or more,
That's very like the SEA.

Beat a dog till it howls outright -
Cruel, but all very well for a spree;
Suppose that one did so day and night,
That would be like the SEA.

I had a vision of nursery-maids;


The Scourge of Villainy

In serious jest, and jesting seriousness,
I strive to scourge polluting beastliness;
I invocate no Delian deity,
No sacred offspring of Mnemosyne;
I pray in aid of no Castalian Muse,
No nymph, no female angel, to infuse
A sprightly wit to raise my flagging wings,
And teach me tune these harsh discordant strings.
I crave no sirens of our halcyon times,
To grace the accents of my rough-hew'd rhymes;
But grim Reproof, stern Hate of Villainy,
Inspire and guide a Satire's poesy.


The Scottish Engineer

With eyes that searched in the dark,
Peering along the line,
Stood the grim Scotsman, Hector Clark,
Driver of "Forty-nine".
And the veldt-fire flamed on the hills ahead,
Like a blood-red beacon sign.

There was word of a fight to the north,
And a column too hardly pressed,
So they started the Highlanders forth.
Heedless of food or rest.

But the pipers gaily played,
Chanting their fierce delight,
And the armoured carriages rocked and swayed.
Laden with men of the Scots Brigade,


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