The Guides At Cabul

Sons of the Island race, wherever ye dwell,
Who speak of your fathers' battles with lips that burn,
The deed of an alien legion hear me tell,
And think not shame from the hearts ye tamed to learn,
When succour shall fail and the tide for a season turn,
To fight with joyful courage, a passionate pride,
To die at last as the Guides of Cabul died.

For a handful of seventy men in a barrack of mud,
Foodless, waterless, dwindling one by one,
Answered a thousand yelling for English blood
With stormy volleys that swept them gunner from gun,
And charge on charge in the glare of the Afghan sun,
Till the walls were shattered wherein they couched at bay,
And dead or dying half of the seventy lay.

Twice they had taken the cannon that wrecked their hold,
Twice toiled in vain to drag it back,
Thrice they toiled, and alone, wary and bold,
Whirling a hurricane sword to scatter the rack,
Hamilton, last of the English, covered their track.
'Never give in!' he cried, and he heard them shout,
And grappled with death as a man that knows not doubt.

And the Guides looked down from their smouldering barrack again,
And behold, a banner of truce, and a voice that spoke:
'Come, for we know that the English all are slain,
We keep no feud with men of a kindred folk;
Rejoice with us to be free of the conqueror's yolk.'
Silence fell for a moment, then was heard
A sound of laughter and scorn, and an answering word.

'Is it we or the lords we serve who have earned this wrong,
That ye call us to flinch from the battle they bade us fight?
We that live--do ye doubt that our hands are strong?
They that are fallen--ye know that their blood was bright!
Think ye the Guides will barter for lust of the light
The pride of an ancient people in warfare bred,
Honour of comrades living, and faith to the dead?'

Then the joy that spurs the warrior's heart
To the last thundering gallop and sheer leap
Came on the men of the Guides: they flung apart
The doors not all their valour could longer keep;
They dressed their slender line; they breathed deep,
And with never a foot lagging or head bent
To the clash and clamour and dust of death they went.

The Building Of The Temple

(An Anthem Heard In Canterbury Cathedral)

[The Organ]

O Lord our God, we are strangers before Thee, and sojourners, as were
all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is
none abiding.

O Lord God of our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of
the thoughts of Thy people, and prepare their heart unto Thee.

And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart to keep Thy commandments,
and to build the palace for the which I have made provision.

[Boys' voices.]

O come to the Palace of Life,
Let us build it again.
It was founded on terror and strife,
It was laid in the curse of the womb,
And pillared on toil and pain,
And hung with veils of doom,
And vaulted with the darkness of the tomb.

[Men's voices.]

O Lord our God, we are sojourners here for a day,
Strangers and sojourners, as all our fathers were:
Our years on the earth are a shadow that fadeth away;
Grant us light for our labour, and a time for prayer.

[Boys.]

But now with endless song,
And joy fulfilling the Law;
Of passion as pure as strong
And pleasure undimmed of awe;
With garners of wine and grain
Laid up for the ages long,
Let us build the Palace again
And enter with endless song,
Enter and dwell secure, forgetting the years of wrong.

[Men.]

O Lord our God, we are strangers and sojourners here,
Our beginning was night, and our end is hid in Thee:
Our labour on the earth is hope redeeming fear,
In sorrow we build for the days we shall not see.

[Boys.]

Great is the name
Of the strong and skilled,
Lasting the fame
Of them that build:
The tongues of many nations
Shall speak of our praise,
And far generations
Be glad for our days.

[Men.]

We are sojourners here as all our fathers were,
As all our children shall be, forgetting and forgot:
The fame of man is a murmur that passeth on the air,
We perish indeed if Thou remember not.

We are sojourners here as all our fathers were,
Strangers travelling down to the land of death:
There is neither work nor device nor knowledge there,
O grant us might for our labour, and to rest in faith.

[Boys.]

In joy, in the joy of the light to be,

[Men.]

O Father of Lights, unvarying and true,

[Boys.]

Let us build the Palace of Life anew.

[Men.]

Let us build for the years we shall not see.

[Boys.]

Lofty of line and glorious of hue,
With gold and pearl and with the cedar tree,

[Men.]

With silence due
And with service free,

[Boys.]

Let us build it for ever in splendour new.

[Men.]

Let us build in hope and in sorrow, and rest in Thee.

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