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.
BY F. HARALD WILLIAMS.
They are not gone, the old
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
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.
THE THREE CHERRY-STONES.
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.