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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

The Song of the Old Guard

Army Reform-.After Boer war "The Army of a Dream"-Traffics and Discoveries.

Know this, my brethren, Heaven is clear
  And all the clouds are gone--
The Proper Sort shall flourish now,
  Good times are coming on"--
The evil that was threatened late
  To all of our degree
Hath passed in discord and debate,
  And,Hey then up go we!

A common people strove in vain
   To shame us unto toil,
But they are spent and we remain,
  And we shall share the spoil
According to our several needs
  As Beauty shall decree,
As Age ordains or Birth concedes,
  And, Hey then up go we!

And they that with accursed zeal
  Our Service would amend,
Shall own the odds and come to heel
  Ere worse befall their end:
For though no naked word be wrote
  Yet plainly shall they see
What pinneth Orders on their coat,
  And, Hey then up go we!

Our doorways that, in time of fear,
  We opened overwide
Shall softly close from year to year
  Till all be purified;
For though no fluttering fan be heard      .
  Nor chaff be seen to flee--
The Lord shall winnow the Lord's Preferred--
  And, Hey then up go we!

Our altars which the heathen brake
  Shall rankly smoke anew,
And anise, mint and cummin take
  Their dread and sovereign due,
Whereby the buttons of our trade
  Shall soon restored be
With curious work in gilt and braid,
  And, Hey then up go we!

Then come, my brethren, and prepare
  The candlesticks and bells,
The scarlet, brass, and badger's hair
  Wherein our Honour dwells,
And straitly fence  and strictly keep
  The Ark's integrity
Till Armageddon break our sleep  .  .  .
 And, Hey then go we!

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