MERCHANDISE! Merchandise! Tortoiseshell, spices,
Carpets and Indigo sent o’er the highseas;
Mothero’Pearl from the Solomon Isles
Brought by a brigantine ten thousand miles.
Rubber from Zanzibar, tea from NangPo,
Copra from Haiti, and wine from Bordeaux;
Ships, with topgallants and royals unfurled,
Are bringing in freights from the ends of the world
Crazy old windjammers, manned by Malays,
With ratridden bulkheads and creaking old stays,
Reeking of bilge and of paint and of pitch
That’s how these oceangirt islands grew rich:
And tramps, heavy laden, and liners untold
Will lease a new life to a nation grown old.
Merchandise! Merchandise! England was made
By her Men and her Ships and her OVERSEAS TRADE.
Widen your harbours, your docks and your quays,
Hazard your wares on the seven wide seas,
Run out your railways and hew out your coal,
For only by trade can a country keep whole.
Feed up your furnaces, fashion your steel,
Stick to your bargains and pay on the deal;
Rich is your birthright, and well you’ll be paid.
If you keep in good faith with your Overseas Trade.
Learn up geography, work out your sums,
Build up your commerce, and pull down your slums;
Sail on a Plimsoll that marks a full hold:
Your Overseas Trade means a harvest of gold.
Bring in the palmoil and pepper you’ve bought,
But send out ten times the amount you import:
Trade your inventions, your labour and sweat:
Your Overseas Traffic will keep ye from debt.
Hark to the song of the shuttle and loom,
Keep up your commerce or crawl to your tomb
Study new methods and open new lines,
Quicken your factories, foundries and mines,
Think of what Drake did, and Raleigh and Howe
And waste not their labours by slacking it now:
Work is life’s currency earn what you’re worth,
And send out your ships to the ends of the earth.
Deepbosomed mothers with widefashioned hips
Will bear ye good sons for the building of ships
Good sons for your ships and good ships for your trade
That’s how the Peace of the World will be made!
So send out your strong to the forests untrod,
Work for yourselves and your neighbours and
Keep this good England the home of the free,
With Merchandise, Men and good Ships on the
Merchandise! Merchandise! Good honest Merchandise!
Merchandise, Men and Good Ships on the Sea.
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My Old Football
YOU can keep your antique silver and your statuettes of bronze,
Your curios and tapestries so fine,
But of all your treasures rare there is nothing to compare
With this patched up, wornout football pal o’ mine.
Just a patchedup wornout football, yet how it clings!
I live again my happier days in thoughts that football brings.
It’s got a mouth, it’s got a tongue,
And oft when we’re alone I fancy that it speaks
To me of golden youth that’s flown.
It calls to mind our meeting,
’Twas a present from the Dad.
I kicked it yet I worshipped it,
How strange a priest it had!
And yet it jumped with pleasure
When I punched it might and main:
And when it had the dumps
It got blown up and punched again.
It’s lived its life;
It’s played the game;
Its had its rise and fall,
There’s history in the wrinkles of that wornout football.
Caresses rarely came its way in babyhood ’twas tanned.
It’s been well oiled, and yet it’s quite teetotal, understand.
It’s gone the pace, and sometimes it’s been absolutely bust,
And yet ’twas always full of bounce,
No matter how ’twas cussed.
He’s broken many rules and oft has wandered out of bounds,
He’s joined in shooting parties
Over other people’s grounds.
Misunderstood by women,
He was never thought a catch,
Yet he was never happier
Than when bringing off a match.
He’s often been in danger
Caught in nets that foes have spread,
He’s even come to life again
When all have called him dead.
Started on the centre,
And he’s acted on the square,
To all parts of the compass
He’s been bullied everywhere.
His aims and his ambitious
Were opposed by one and all,
And yet he somehow reached his goal
That plucky old football.
When schooling days were ended
I forgot him altogether,
And ’midst the dusty years
He lay a crumpled lump of leather.
Then came the threat’ning voice of War,
And games had little chance,
My brother went to do his bit
Out there somewhere in France.
And when my brother wrote he said,
‘Of all a Tommy’s joys,
There’s none compares with football.
Will you send one for the boys? ’
I sent not one but many,
And my old one with the rest,
I thought that football’s finished now,
But no he stood the test.
Behind the lines they kicked him
As he’d never been kicked before.
Till they busted him and sent him back
A keepsake of the war.
My brother lies out there in France,
Beneath a simple cross,
And I seem to feel my football knows my grief,
And shares my loss.
He tells me of that splendid charge,
And then my brother’s fall.
In life he loved our mutual chum
That worn-out football.
Oh you can keep your antique silver
And your statuettes of bronze
Your curios and tapestries so fine
But of all your treasures rare
There is nothing to compare
With that patched-up worn-out football—
Pal o’ mine.
The Whitest Man I Know
HE’S acruisin’ in a pearler with a dirty nigger crew,
Abuyin’ pearls and copra for a stingy Spanish Jew,
And his face is tann’d like leather ’neath a blazin’ tropic Sun,
And he’s workin’ out a penance for the things he hasn’t done.
Round the Solomons he runs, tradin’ beads and castoff guns,
Buyin’ pearls from grinnin’ niggers, loadin copra by the ton;
And he’ll bargain and he’ll smile, but he’s thinkin’ all the while
Of the penance that he’s workin’ out for sins he hasn’t done.
We’d been round the Horn together, and I’d come to know his worth;
The greatest friend I’d ever had, the whitest man on earth.
He’d pull’d me out of many a scrape, he’d risk’d his life for me,
And side by side, for many a year, we’d rough’d it on the sea;
But a woman came between us; she was beautiful as Venus,
And she set her cap at him until she hook’d him unawares:
And I sailed off on my own
Leavin’ him and her alone:
Sign’d aboard a tramp for ’Frisco, leavin’ them in Bu’nos Ayres.
When I met him in a twelvemonth he was goin’ to the deuce,
For she’s blacken’d all the good in him, she’d play’d him fast and loose,
And she’d gone off with a Dago who was lettin’ dollars fly,
And she’d left my mate to drink his precious soul away and die.
Well, I talk’d and talk’d him over, and we sign’d aboard ‘The Rover.’
It was just like good old times, until we shor’d at Rio Bay;
Then the hand of Fate show’d plain brought us face to face again
With the woman, and the Dago who had taken her away.
We were sittin’in a cafe when the couple came along,
She simply smil’d and pass’d us by, then vanish’d in the throng.
My mate jump’d up to follow, but I wouldn’t let him stir,
And later on a waiter brought a note that came from her:
She pretended she regretted
What she’d done, and that she fretted
For the wrong that she had done him, and she wanted to atone;
There was so much to explain,
Would he meet her once again
After midnight, in her garden she would watch for him, alone.
’Course he went, but unbeknown to him I follow’d on behind.
I watch’d, and saw the shadows of two figures on the blind
The woman and the Dago and I heard the Dago shout,
They quarrell’d, and the woman scream’d and then a shot rang out.
My mate dash’d thro’ the curtain
And I follow’d, makin’certain
That my little gun was ready case I had to make a stand:
There I saw the Dago dead,
With a bullet thro’ his head,
And the woman standin’ near him with a shooter in her hand.
Before the Civil Guard came in my mate had snatch’d her gun,
And he ask’d them to arrest him for the thing he hadn’t done.
I tried madly to explain things, but they shook their heads at me,
And the woman let them take him, so that she might get off free.
In the court I sat and heard her
Tell them all he’d done the murder,
And I pray’d she might be stricken into some shape,
He was sentenc’d for his life
But out there corruption’s rife,
And I brib’d and brib’d, until at last I manag’d his escape.
Then I stow’d him on a hooker sailin’ far from woman’s wiles,
And he’s workin’ his salvation out amongst the South Sea Isles;
And the woman’s there at Rio, and she’s weavin’ of her spell,
With a crowd of fools awaitin’ her commands to burn in hell;
Whilst the whitest man I know
Runs a Christy minstrel show,
Buyin’pearls from dirty niggers ’neath a blazin tropic sun,
And he’ll cuss’em, and he’ll smile
But he’s thinkin’ all the while
Of the penance that he’s workin’out for things he hasn’t done.
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