Friday, 24 December 2010

Away from home and hearth

High noon behind the tamarisks—the sun is hot above us—
As at Home the Christmas Day is breaking wan.
They will drink our healths at dinner—those who tell us how they love us,
And forget us till another year be gone!
Oh the toil that knows no breaking! Oh the Heimweh, ceaseless, aching!
Oh the black dividing Sea and alien Plain!
Youth was cheap—wherefore we sold it.
Gold was good—we hoped to hold it,
And to-day we know the fulness of our gain.

Black night behind the tamarisks—the owls begin their chorus—
As the conches from the temple scream and bray.
With the fruitless years behind us, and the hopeless years before us,
Let us honour, O my brother, Christmas Day!
Call a truce, then, to our labours—let us feast with friends and neighbours,
And be merry as the custom of our caste;
For if "faint and forced the laughter," and if sadness follow after,
We are richer by one mocking Christmas past.

9 comments:

Nick Drew said...

very fine, Mr R

Happy Christmas !

b.l.cohen said...

It's plagiarism if you don't give the attribution. Readers will believe you wrote it.

R. Kipling, Christmas in India

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your postings this year Radders. I have enjoyed your excellent command of the English language, your encyclopedic knowledge of history and your political astuteness.

Merry Christmas to you, your family and your friends.

Coney Island

DP111 said...

HAPPY CHRISTMAS Raedwald, and all those who visit and comment.

Peace on Earth.

Thank you for this site.

Safety in Anonymity said...

Merry Christmas Raedwald, and all who visit you.

Thank you for the blog.

Anonymous said...

Cheers Raedwald, though we've never met I feel I know you.

In England's dim and distant past perhaps our ancesters shared an ale together, who knows?

Waes Hael

Steve

hatfield girl said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year anyway, R.

Autonomous Mind said...

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy and peaceful New Year.

Anonymous said...

Steve@17:10 - That's a nice sentiment, I'll drink to that!

Cheers

Coney Island