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890                                    He fell among Thieves

‘YE have robb’d,’ said he, ‘ye have slaughter’d and made an end,
   Take your ill-got plunder, and bury the dead:
What will ye more of your guest and sometime friend?’
   ‘Blood for our blood,’ they said.
He laugh’d: ‘If one may settle the score for five,
   I am ready; but let the reckoning stand till day:
I have loved the sunlight as dearly as any alive.’
   ‘You shall die at dawn,’ said they.
He flung his empty revolver down the slope,
   He climb’d alone to the Eastward edge of the trees;
All night long in a dream untroubled of hope
   He brooded, clasping his knees.
He did not hear the monotonous roar that fills
   The ravine where the Yassîn river sullenly flows;
He did not see the starlight on the Laspur hills,
   Or the far Afghan snows.
He saw the April noon on his books aglow,
   The wistaria trailing in at the window wide;
He heard his father’s voice from the terrace below
   Calling him down to ride.
He saw the gray little church across the park,
   The mounds that hid the loved and honour’d dead;
The Norman arch, the chancel softly dark,
   The brasses black and red.
He saw the School Close, sunny and green,
   The runner beside him, the stand by the parapet wall,
The distant tape, and the crowd roaring between,
   His own name over all.
He saw the dark wainscot and timber’d roof,
   The long tables, and the faces merry and keen;
The College Eight and their trainer dining aloof,
   The Dons on the daëis serene.
He watch’d the liner’s stem ploughing the foam,
   He felt her trembling speed and the thrash of her screw.
He heard the passengers’ voices talking of home,
   He saw the flag she flew.
And now it was dawn. He rose strong on his feet,
   And strode to his ruin’d camp below the wood;
He drank the breath of the morning cool and sweet:
   His murderers round him stood.
Light on the Laspur hills was broadening fast,
   The blood-red snow-peaks chill’d to a dazzling white;
He turn’d, and saw the golden circle at last,
   Cut by the Eastern height.
‘O glorious Life, Who dwellest in earth and sun,
   I have lived, I praise and adore Thee.’
         A sword swept.
 Over the pass the voices one by one
   Faded, and the hill slept.

891                                            Clifton Chapel

THIS is the Chapel: here, my son,
   Your father thought the thoughts of youth,
And heard the words that one by one
   The touch of Life has turn’d to truth.
Here in a day that is not far,
   You too may speak with noble ghosts
Of manhood and the vows of war
   You made before the Lord of Hosts.
To set the cause above renown,
   To love the game beyond the prize,
To honour, while you strike him down,
   The foe that comes with fearless eyes;
To count the life of battle good,
   And dear the land that gave you birth,
And dearer yet the brotherhood
   That binds the brave of all the earth.—
My son, the oath is yours: the end
   Is His, Who built the world of strife,
Who gave His children Pain for friend,
   And Death for surest hope of life.
To-day and here the fight’s begun,
   Of the great fellowship you’re free;
Henceforth the School and you are one,
   And what You are, the race shall be.

God send you fortune: yet be sure,
   Among the lights that gleam and pass,
You’ll live to follow none more pure
   Than that which glows on yonder brass:
Qui procul hinc,’ the legend’s writ,—
   The frontier-grave is far away—
Qui ante diem periit:
   Sed miles, sed pro patria.’


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