Collected Poems 1897 - 1907 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 69 pages of information about Collected Poems 1897.

The lads were bonny, the lads were young,
  But he claimed a pitiless debt;
Life and death in the balance hung,
  They watched it swing and set. 
They saw him search with sombre eyes,
  They knew the place he sought;
They saw him feel for the hilted steel,
  They bowed before his thought.

But he—­he saw the prison there
  In the old quivering heat,
Where merry hearts had met despair
  And died without defeat;
Where feeble hands had raised the cup
  For feebler lips to drain,
And one had worn with smiling scorn
  His double load of pain.

“The sleep that Tippoo Sahib sleeps
  Hears not the voice of man;
The faith that Tippoo Sahib keeps
  No earthly judge may scan;
For all the wrong your father wrought
  Your father’s sons are free;
Where Lucas lay no tongue shall say
  That Mercy bound not me.”

A Ballad of John Nicholson

It fell in the year of Mutiny,
  At darkest of the night,
John Nicholson by Jalandhar came,
  On his way to Delhi fight.

And as he by Jalandhar came,
  He thought what he must do,
And he sent to the Rajah fair greeting,
  To try if he were true.

“God grant your Highness length of days,
  And friends when need shall be;
And I pray you send your Captains hither,
  That they may speak with me.”

On the morrow through Jalandhar town
  The Captains rode in state;
They came to the house of John Nicholson,
  And stood before the gate.

The chief of them was Mehtab Singh,
  He was both proud and sly;
His turban gleamed with rubies red,
  He held his chin full high.

He marked his fellows how they put
  Their shoes from off their feet;
“Now wherefore make ye such ado
  These fallen lords to greet?

“They have ruled us for a hundred years,
  In truth I know not how,
But though they be fain of mastery
  They dare not claim it now.”

Right haughtily before them all
  The durbar hall he trod,
With rubies red his turban gleamed,
  His feet with pride were shod.

They had not been an hour together,
  A scanty hour or so,
When Mehtab Singh rose in his place
  And turned about to go.

Then swiftly came John Nicholson
  Between the door and him,
With anger smouldering in his eyes,
  That made the rubies dim.

“You are over-hasty, Mehtab Singh,”—–­
  Oh, but his voice was low! 
He held his wrath with a curb of iron
  That furrowed cheek and brow.

“You are overhasty, Mehtab Singh,
  When that the rest are gone,
I have a word that may not wait
  To speak with you alone.”

The Captains passed in silence forth
  And stood the door behind;
To go before the game was played
  Be sure they had no mind.

Project Gutenberg
Collected Poems 1897 - 1907 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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