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192

THE MEN OF OLD.

The full ranks will be shattered,
And the bright arms will be battered,
And the battle-standards tattered,

When the boys come home.

Their bayonets may be rusty,

When the boys come home,
And their uniforms dusty,

When the boys come home.
But all shall see the traces
Of battle's royal graces
In the brown and bearded faces,

When the boys come home.

Our love shall go to meet them,

When the boys come home;
To bless them and to greet them,

When the boys come home;
And the fame of their endeavour
Time and change shall not dissever
From the nation's heart for ever,
When the boys come home!

Colonel John Hay.

THE MEN OF OLD.

I KNOW not that the men of old
Were better than men now,
Of heart more kind, of hand more bold,
Of more ingenuous brow:
I heed not those who pine for force
A ghost of Time to raise,
As if they thus could check the course
Of these appointed days.

THE MEN OF OLD.

193

Still it is true, and over true,
That I delight to close
This book of life self-wise and new,
And let my thoughts repose
On all that humble happiness
The world has since foregone-
The daylight of contentedness
That on those faces shone!

With rights, tho' not too closely scanned,
Enjoyed, as far as known-
With will by no reverse unmanned-
With pulse of even tone-
They from to-day and from to-night
Expected nothing more
Than yesterday and yesternight
Had proffered them before.

To them was life a simple art
Of duties to be done,
A game where each man took his part,
A race where all must run;
A battle whose great scheme and scope
They little cared to know,
Content, as men at arms, to cope
Each with his fronting foe.

Man now his Virtue's diadem
Puts on and proudly wears;
Great thoughts, great feelings, came to them
Like instincts, unawares:
Blending their souls' sublimest needs
With tasks of every day,
They went about their gravest deeds
As noble boys at play.

13

Modern Poets.

194

THE MEN OF OLD.

And what if Nature's fearful wound
They did not probe and bare,
For that their spirits never swooned
To watch the misery there-
For that their love but flowed more fast,
Their charities more free,
Not conscious what mere drops they cast
Into the evil sea.

A man's best things are nearest him,
Lie close about his feet,
It is the distant and the dim
That we are sick to greet:
For flowers that grow our hands beneath
We struggle and aspire-
Our hearts must die, except they breathe
The air of fresh Desire.

Yet, brothers, who up Reason's hill
Advance with hopeful cheer-
O! loiter not, those heights are chill,
As chill as they are clear;
And still restrain your haughty gaze,
The loftier that ye go,
Remembering distance leaves a haze
On all that lies below.

Lord Houghton. THE PRIDE OF WORTH.

195

THE PRIDE OF WORTH.

Is there, for honest poverty,

That hangs his head, and a' that?
The coward-slave, we pass him by,
And dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, and a' that,

Our toil's obscure, and a' that;
The rank is but the guinea stamp;

The man's the gowd for a' that.

What tho' on hamely fare we dine,

Wear hodden-grey, and a' that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
A man's a man, for a’ that.
For a' that, and a' that,

Their tinsel show, and a' that:
The honest man, tho' ne'er sae poor,

Is King o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,

Wha struts, and stares, and a' that; Tho' hundreds worship at his word, He's but a coof for a' that:

For a' that, and a' that,

His riband, star, and a’ that,
The man, of independent mind,

He looks and laughs at a' that.

A king can mak a belted knight,

A marquis, duke, and a' that;
But an honest man's aboon his might,
Guid faith, he maunna fa' that!

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For a' that, and a' that,

Their dignities, and a' that,
The pith o' sense, and pride o' worth,

Are higher ranks than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,

As come it will for a' that,
That sense and worth, o'er a’ the earth,
May bear the gree, and a' that;
For a’ that, and a' that,

It's coming yet, for a' that;
That man to man, the warld o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.

R. Burns.

GOLD.

GOLD! Gold! Gold! Gold!
Bright and yellow, hard and cold,
Molten, graven, hammer'd and rolld;
Heavy to get and light to hold;
Hoarded, barter'd, bought, and sold,
Stolen, borrow'd, squander'd, doled;
Spurn’d by the young, but hugg'd by the old
To the very verge of the churchyard mould;
Price of many a crime untold;
Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold!
Good or bad a thousand-fold!

How widely its agencies vary-
To save-to ruin-to curse--to bless
As even its minted coins express,
Now stamp'd with the image of Good Queen Bess,

And now of a Bloody Mary.

7. Hood.

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