On Patrol Part 10

On Patrol -

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When the foe is pressing and the come down In a stream like maxim fire, When the long grey ranks seem to thicken all the while, And they stamp on the last of the wire, When all along the line comes a whisper on the wind That you hear through the drumming of the guns: "They are through over there and the right is in the air, And there isn't any end to the Huns,"-- Then keep along a-shooting till you can't shoot more, And hit 'em with a shovel on the head.

Don't forget a lot of folk have beaten them before, And a Hun'll never hurt you if he's dead.

If you're in a hole and your hopes begin to fail, If you're in a losing fight, Think a bit of Jonah in the belly of the whale, _'Cause-he-got-out-all-right_.



When the Spartan heroes tried To hold the broken gate, When--roaring like the rising tide-- The Persian hors.e.m.e.n charged and died In foaming waves of hate.

When with armour hacked and torn They gripped their s.h.i.+elds of bra.s.s, And hailed the G.o.ds that light the morn With battle-cry of hope forlorn, "We shall not let them pa.s.s."

While they combed their hair for death Before the Persian line, They spoke awhile with easy breath, "What think ye the Athenian saith In Athens as they dine?"

"Doth he repent that we alone Are here to hold the way, That he must reap what he hath sown-- That only valour may atone The fault of yesterday?

"Is he content that thou and I-- Three hundred men in line-- Should show him thus how man may try To stay the foemen pa.s.sing by To Athens, where they dine?

"Ah! now the clas.h.i.+ng cymbal rings, The mighty host is nigh; Let Athens talk of pa.s.sing things-- But here, three hundred Spartan kings Shall greet the fame the Persian brings To men about to die."



There's a whistle of the wind in the rigging overhead, And the tune is as plain as can be.

"Hey! down below there--d'you know it's going to blow there, All across the cold North Sea?"

And along comes the gale from the locker in the North By the Storm-King's hand set free, And the wind and the snow and the sleet come forth, Let loose to the cold North Sea.

Tumble out the oilskins, the seas are running white, There's a wet watch due for me, For we're heading to the east, and a long wet night As we drive at the cold North Sea.

See the water foaming as the waves go by Like the tide on the sands of Dee; Hear the gale a-piping in the halliards high To the tune of the cold North Sea.

See how she's meeting them, plunging all the while, Till I'm wet to the sea-boot knee; See how she's beating them--twenty to the mile-- The waves of the cold North Sea.

Right across from Helgoland to meet the English coast, Lie better than the likes of we,-- Men that lived in many ways, but went to join the host That are buried by the cold North Sea.

Rig along the life-lines, double-stay the rails, Lest the Storm-King call for a fee; For if any man should slip, through the rolling of the s.h.i.+p, He'd be lost in the cold North Sea.

We are heading to the gale, and the driving of the sleet, And we're far to the east of Three.

Hey! you German sailormen, here's the British Fleet Waiting in the cold North Sea.

A.D. 400

A.D. 400.

A long low s.h.i.+p from the Orkneys' sailed, With a full gale driving her along, Three score sailormen singing as they baled To the tune of a Viking song--

_We have a luck-charm Carved on the tiller, Cut in the fore-room See we Thor's Hammer; G.o.ds will protect us Under a s.h.i.+eld-burgh, Carved in the mast we-- The Runes of Yggdrasil!_

But the Earl called down from the kicking tiller-head, "Six hands lay along to me!

Tumble out the hawsers there, Skallagrim the Red!

For a battle with a Berserk sea; Sing a song of work, of a well-stayed mast, Of clinch and rivet and pine, Of a bull's-hide sail we can carry to the last Of a well-built s.h.i.+p like mine.

Never mind the Runes on the bending tree Or the charms on the tiller that I hold, Trust to your hands and the Makers of the Sea, To the G.o.ds of the Viking bold!

_Thor of the Hammer-- King of the Warriors, We are not thralls here --Men of the sea; We are not idle, Fight we as seamen, Worthy your aid then --Men of the Sea!"_



In the evening--in the sunset--when the long day dies, Out across the broad Atlantic, where the great seas go, When the Golden Gates are open and the sunlight flies, The fairy Islands drift and fade against the crimson glow.

In the evening, when the fiery sun was sinking in the West, St Brandan and the chosen few went sailing out to sea,-- To the Westward--to the sunset--to the Golden Isle of rest, The haven of the weary men, the land of Fairie.

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About On Patrol Part 10 novel

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