With Trumpet and Drum

With big tin trumpet and little red drum,
Marching like soldiers, the children come!
It 's this way and that way they circle and file---
My! but that music of theirs is fine!
This way and that way, and after a while
They march straight into this heart of mine!
A sturdy old heart, but it has to succumb
To the blare of that trumpet and beat of that drum!
Come on, little people, from cot and from hall---
This heart it hath welcome and room for you all!
It will sing you its songs and warm you with love,


With Deaths' Prophetic Ear

Lay my rifle here beside me, set my Bible on my breast,
For a moment let the warning bugles cease;
As the century is closing I am going to my rest,
Lord, lettest Thou Thy servant go in peace.
But loud through all the bugles rings a cadence in mine ear,
And on the winds my hopes of peace are strowed.
Those winds that waft the voices that already I can hear
Of the rooi-baatjes singing on the road.

Yes, the red-coats are returning, I can hear the steady tramp,
After twenty years of waiting, lulled to sleep,


With a Bouquet of Twelve Roses

I saw Lord Buddha towering by my gate
Saying: "Once more, good youth, I stand and wait."
Saying: "I bring you my fair Law of Peace
And from your withering passion full release;
Release from that white hand that stabbed you so.
The road is calling. With the wind you go,
Forgetting her imperious disdain —
Quenching all memory in the sun and rain."

"Excellent Lord, I come. But first," I said,
"Grant that I bring her these twelve roses red.
Yea, twelve flower kisses for her rose-leaf mouth,


Winter Uplands

The frost that stings like fire upon my cheek,
The loneliness of this forsaken ground,
The long white drift upon whose powdered peak
I sit in the great silence as one bound;
The rippled sheet of snow where the wind blew
Across the open fields for miles ahead;
The far-off city towered and roofed in blue
A tender line upon the western red;
The stars that singly, then in flocks appear,
Like jets of silver from the violet dome,
So wonderful, so many and so near,


Winged Man

The moon, a sweeping scimitar, dipped in the stormy straits,
The dawn, a crimson cataract, burst through the eastern gates,
The cliffs were robed in scarlet, the sands were cinnabar,
Where first two men spread wings for flight and dared the hawk afar.

There stands the cunning workman, the crafty past all praise,
The man who chained the Minotaur, the man who built the Maze.
His young son is beside him and the boy's face is a light,
A light of dawn and wonder and of valor infinite.


Winding All My Life About Thee

Winding all my life about thee,
Let me lay my lips on thine;
What is all the world without thee,
Mine --oh mine!

Let me press my heart out on thee,
Grape of life's most fiery vine,
Spilling sacramental on thee
Love's red wine.


Let thy strong eyes yearning o'er me
Draw me with their force divine;
All my soul has gone before me
Clasping thine.

Irresistibly I follow,
As whenever we may run
Runs our shadow, as the swallow
Seeks the sun.


William Rufus

The reign of King William the Second
Were an uninteresting affair
There's only two things that's remembered of him
That's his sudden death and his red hair.

He got his red hair from his Mother,
The crown that he wore were his Dad's,
And the arrow that came at the end of his reign
Were a well-deserved gift from the lads.

For William were cunning and cruel,
Addicted to every vice
He'd bluster and perjure and ravage and murder,
Apart from all that... he weren t nice.


When Klopstock England Defied

When Klopstock England defied,
Uprose William Blake in his pride;
For old Nobodaddy aloft
. . . and belch'd and cough'd;
Then swore a great oath that made Heaven quake,
And call'd aloud to English Blake.
Blake was giving his body ease,
At Lambeth beneath the poplar trees.
From his seat then started he
And turn'd him round three times three.
The moon at that sight blush'd scarlet red,
The stars threw down their cups and fled,
And all the devils that were in hell,

Answerèd with a ninefold yell.


White Christmas

My folks think I'm a serving maid
Each time I visit home;
They do not dream I ply a trade
As old as Greece or Rome;
For if they found I'd fouled their name
And was not white as snow,
I'm sure that they would die of shame . . .
Please, God, they'll never know.

I clean the paint from off my face,
In sober black I dress;
Of coquetry I leave no trace
To give them vague distress;
And though it causes me a pang
To play such sorry tricks,
About my neck I meekly hang
A silver crufix.


Wide Spaces

When my last long-beer has vanished and the truth is left unsaid;
When each sordid care is banished from my chair and from my bed,
And my common people sadly murmur: " 'Arry Lawson dead,"

When the man I was denounces all the things that I was not,
When the true souls stand like granite, while the souls of liars not –
When the quids I gave are counted, and the trays I cadged forgot;

Shall my spirit see the country that it wrote for once again?
Shall it see the old selections, and the common street and lane?


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