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With the Night Mail At nine o'clock of a gusty winter night I stood on the lower stages of one of the G. P. O. outward mail towers. My purpose was a run to Quebec in "Postal Packet 162 or such other as may be appointed"; and the Postmaster-General himself countersigned the order. This talisman opened all doors, even those in the despatching-caisson at the foot of the tower, where they were delivering the sorted Continental mail. The... more...

"Let us now praise famous men"—Men of little showing—For their work continueth,And their work continueth,Greater than their knowing.Western wind and open surgeTore us from our mothers;Flung us on a naked shore(Twelve bleak houses by the shore!Seven summers by the shore!)'Mid two hundred brothers.There we met with famous menSet in office o'er us.And they beat on us with rods—Faithfully with many rods—Daily beat us on with... more...

THE AUXILIARIES I The Navy is very old and very wise. Much of her wisdom is on record and available for reference; but more of it works in the unconscious blood of those who serve her. She has a thousand years of experience, and can find precedent or parallel for any situation that the force of the weather or the malice of the King's enemies may bring about. The main principles of sea-warfare hold good throughout all ages, and, so far as the... more...

BARRACK-ROOM BALLADS AND OTHER VERSES 1889-1891 TO WOLCOTT BALESTIER Beyond the path of the outmost sun through utter darkness hurled —Further than ever comet flared or vagrant star-dust swirled —Live such as fought and sailed and ruled and loved and made our world.They are purged of pride because they died, they know the worth of their bays,They sit at wine with the Maidens Nine and the Gods of the Elder Days,It is their will to... more...

THE EDUCATION OF OTIS YEERE I In the pleasant orchard-closes'God bless all our gains,' say we;But 'May God bless all our losses,'Better suits with our degree.The Lost Bower. This is the history of a failure; but the woman who failed said that it might be an instructive tale to put into print for the benefit of the younger generation. The younger generation does not want instruction, being perfectly willing to instruct if any one will listen to... more...


THE CAPTIVE FROM THE MASJID-AL-AQSA OF SAYYID AHMED (WAHABI)   Not with an outcry to Allah nor any complaining  He answered his name at the muster and stood to the chaining.  When the twin anklets were nipped on the leg-bars that held them,  He brotherly greeted the armourers stooping to weld them.  Ere the sad dust of the marshalled feet of the chain-gang swallowed him,  Observing him... more...

THE ROWERS 1902 (When Germany proposed that England should help her in a naval demonstration to collect debts from Venezuela.) The banked oars fell an hundred strong,And backed and threshed and ground,But bitter was the rowers' songAs they brought the war-boat round. They had no heart for the rally and roarThat makes the whale-bath smoke—When the great blades cleave and hold and leaveAs one on the racing stroke. They... more...

POOR DEAR MAMMA The wild hawk to the wind-swept sky, The deer to the wholesome wold, And the heart of a man to the heart of a maid, As it was in the days of old. Gypsy Song. SCENE.—Interior of Miss MINNIE THREEGAN'S Bedroom at Simla. Miss THREEGAN, in window-seat, turning over a drawerful of things. Miss EMMA DEERCOURT, bosom—friend, who has come to spend the day, sitting on the bed, manipulating the bodice of a ballroom frock, and... more...

The Cities are full of pride,Challenging each to each—This from her mountain-side,That from her burthened beach. They count their ships full tale—Their corn and oil and wine,Derrick and loom and bale,And rampart's gun-flecked line;City by city they hail:"Hast aught to match with mine?" And the men that breed from themThey traffic up and down,But cling to their cities' hemAs a child to the mother's gown. When they talk with the... more...

HOW FEAR CAME The stream is shrunk—the pool is dry,And we be comrades, thou and I;With fevered jowl and dusty flankEach jostling each along the bank;And by one drouthy fear made still,Forgoing thought of quest or kill.Now 'neath his dam the fawn may see,The lean Pack-wolf as cowed as he,And the tall buck, unflinching, noteThe fangs that tore his father's throat.The pools are shrunk—the streams are dry,And we be playmates, thou and... more...