Successful Recitations eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 540 pages of information about Successful Recitations.

      Where is the master mind that reads
        The far-off issues of the day,
      And with a willing nation pleads
        That loves to own a master sway? 
      Where are the landmarks on the way,
        Set up alone by him who leads? 
      We vainly ask a common creed
        To make us one in England’s need.

      Is there no man with broader reach
        To fill a thorny throne of care,
      And bravely act and bravely teach
        Because in all he has a share? 
      No helper who will do and dare,
        And stand a bulwark in the breach? 
      Have we no lord of England’s fate,
        Though coming from a cottage gate?

      O surely somewhere is the hand
        To grasp and guide this reeling realm,
      While in the hour-glass sinks the sand
        And faints the pilot at the helm;
      If billows break to overwhelm,
        Yet he will conquer and command. 
      England is waiting to be led,
        If through the dying and the dead.

      We do not seek the party fame
        That trafficks in a people’s fall,
      But one to shield our burning shame
        And answer just his country’s call;
      To weld us in a solid wall,
        And kindle with a common flame. 
      Ah, when she finds the fitting man,
        England will do what England can.



    They are not gone, the old Cromwellian breed,
      As witness conquered tides,
    And many a pasture sown with crimson seed—­
      Our English Ironsides;
    And out on kopjes, where the bullets rain,
    They serve their Captain, slaying or are slain. 
    The same grand spirit in the same grim stress
      Arms them with stubborn mail;
    They see the light of duty’s loveliness
      And over death prevail. 
    They never count the price or weigh the odds,
    The work is theirs, the victory is God’s.

    They are not fled, the old Cromwellian stock,
      Where stern the horseman rides,
    Or stands the outpost like a lonely rock—­
      Our English Ironsides. 
    Through drift and donga, up the fire-girt crag
    They bear the honour of the ancient flag. 
    What if they starve, or on red pillows lie
      Beneath a burning sun? 
    It is enough to live their day, or die
      Ere it has even begun;
    They only ask what duty’s voice would crave,
    And march right on to glory or the grave.



Many years ago, three young gentlemen were lingering over their fruit and wine at a tavern, when a man of middle age entered the room, seated himself at a small unoccupied table, and calling the waiter, ordered a simple meal.  His appearance was not such as to arrest attention.  His hair was thin and grey; the expression of his countenance was sedate, with a slight touch, perhaps, of melancholy; and he wore a grey surtout with a standing collar, which manifestly had seen service, if the wearer had not.

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Successful Recitations from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.