I’m researching for a paper, gathering poetry related to the aging Ulysses in Tennyson’s poem of that name, and I thought I’d share my snips with you all…
Rudyard Kipling, The Mary Gloster
“Not the least of our merchant-princes.” Dickie, that’s me, your dad!
I didn’t begin with askings. I took my job and I stuck;
I took the chances they wouldn’t, an’ now they’re calling it luck.
Lord, what boats I’ve handled — rotten and leaky and old —
Ran ’em, or — opened the bilge-cock, precisely as I was told.
Grub that ‘ud bind you crazy, and crews that ‘ud turn you grey,
And a big fat lump of insurance to cover the risk on the way.
The others they dursn’t do it; they said they valued their life
(They’ve served me since as skippers).
Kipling’s The Old Men
“We shall lift up the ropes that constrained our youth, to bind on our children’s hands;
We shall call to the waters below the bridges to return and to replenish our lands;
We shall harness (Death’s own pale horses) and scholarly plough the sands.”
“Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes
On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated — so:
“Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges —
“Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!”
Robert Service’s Spell of the Yukon
“There’s a land where the mountains are nameless,
And the rivers all run God knows where;
There are lives that are erring and aimless,
And Deaths that just hang by a hair;
There are hardships that nobody reckons;
There are valleys unpeopled and still;
There’s a land – oh, it beckons and beckons,
And I want to go back – and I will. ”
Robert Service’s The Men that Don’t Fit in
“There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
A race that can’t stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the wolrd at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain’s crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they just don’t know how to rest.”