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Lights of the great Sea Road, they brighten in long ranges,

Lone challenging lights Out of invisible towers leap on the dark, Pierce it and pass, while ever behind them a phantom country Vaguely appears, and again hurrying sweeps into night. As lamps incessantly crowd and fly through the heart of the city, Feverish sparks, he beholds here majestic Pass without haste, without pause, lamps on the Road of the Sea. So the night he watches, driving through dim waters

The dark garrulous keel; While ever the whispering water asks of the garrulous keel * What bearest thou ?'—and the keel makes answer, ‘Life,



Strange far lives, manifold, each from the other
Sundered and secret and hid, that the waste sea hath sundered

And the round earth and the sun,
The marching stars and the soul's inexpugnable walls-

Threads on the loom of London
The lives of the world are woven, and her life is the warp of the


But the grey weavers toil,
Sightless men, beholding never the woof tremendous
Nor its colours, but clamouring of idle things,
Weave incurious here in the darkness webs of Destiny.
Diverse colours : the colour of lions and of tawny deserts,

Of thronged secular shrines and dim bazaars,

Rich-gleaming, silent-flooredThe colour of populous plains immense and of mighty rivers, And clouds flowing round the feet of the mountain walls of the


All the fair colours of time-enduring cities,
All the ashen tones of rude ephemeral camps

And sudden geething towns,
The sheen of the wide pampas, the shade of the lone estancia.

The colour of monstrous Life wallowing in great waters
And deep shadow of forests, where glittering-eyed

The stealthy hunters crawl,
And one by one, silently footing the silent pathway,
Dusk burden-bearers pass, balancing their loads.
The blackness of under-earth and the soft gloaming of caverns

Under the green sea-
Thence with a swift shudder emerges, races a splendour
Along the loom, as of fabulous jewels ranged
On white bosoms of women, shaken with laughter, or sinister
Flaming century-long, sole, the eye of a god.
The gleaming of gold is there, of steel, the sword and the plough-

The long shimmer of rails vanishing in remote perspectives,

The solemn stain of blood.
This is the web of London dipped in the dyes of the world.

Blindly the weavers toil,
But deep tides are driving the measureless loom and the spindles
That are spinning through all the hours with the spinning of Earth.
The Sea wrought it, the Sea brought it, and therefore exulting
The welcoming water chants with the garrulous keel,

'Life, Life we bear!' And again whispers to the walls of the unheeding city, ‘Life.'


The Tide of the Sea-listen, its breathing voice is triumphant
As the sound of clarions and trumpets heralding kings-

The tide whispers her, “Hail,
Mother! Rulers of men are thy sons, born to be princes
In dim far-frontiered lands. Government is on their shoulders.
'Sovereign justice and order and peace they plant in their foot-

They subdue the desert with streams, the vast ravaging rivers
With bridges of steel, alone they grip in a mortal contest

Demons, things that devour,
Plague, Pestilence, Famine, pitiless beasts,
The venomous, ancient, dark, elemental Powers of the Jungle.

'Not in purple arrayed nor crowned with any diadem Are these thy sons. From the deep heart of unrealised continents, Where as strangers they rule, they as strangers return,

Mother, here to thy heart. Many may not return, so hospitable the alien grave. 'One is the vital power that is urging them, whether incessant They move with the travelling tide or are scattered over Earth. The Sea glories, the Sea in a rapture of rushing surges Triumphs, his waves clap their innumerable hands,

Dancing before the Sun. “Mine are thy sons !” he calls to thee, “ Queen, rejoice in muy




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But the Sea is immortal, he knows nothing, he cannot divine
Anything of Age, in his great heart he beholds thee

Young as his great heart,
He beholds thee ever immortally throned, a shining goddess.
What shall we affirm ? Isis, art thou, of the secret countenance
Impenetrably veiled, thundering darkly stupendous oracles.

Yet when the breath of the Sea,
When the swift water sweeps up the silver arc
To thy glooming towers, I with reluctant look have beheld
A vision, a dream of thee, Mother. False be the vision !
Lying the dream! Unlifted the solemn veil !
I saw in her palace halls enthroned, yet from divinity
Fallen already, a goddess, a mighty bulk

Bowed in the golden chair.
Deaf are her ears to the voices afar, to the tide's admonition,
Dim her eyes, no longer with eagle glance
Sweeping from her high seat over the spaces of Earth.
With drooped eyelids she leans, passionate, eager, absorbed,
Over an interminable game, clutching at counters.
For these all she stakes, she gambles all, a gamester

Debile, sinister, ridiculous,
Monstrous Mother, pushing on the board with palsied fingers

All the heritage, the honour, the goodly estate,
The wealth, the achievement, the toil, the tears, the blood of her


Darkly behind her in shadow a shadow looming gigantic
Watches, a Titan attends, vigilant, superb,

The last, the impotent hour.
Once and again she thrusts back with ignoble gesture
The bright diadem, it reels, it totters on her brow-
Then eagerly, murmuring triumph and scorn, the Titan
Starts and stretches nearer the huge menace of his hand.

But she regards not. Away
The dream !—with its long low sound as of desperate sorrow,
Of sea winds that wail, with a saltness of tears
Blown along her pale coasts !-Lady, the Sea salutes thee

Now, as through all years,
Since naked and nameless among the blanching osiers,
First he found thee and crowned thee in waste dominions a queen.



The house overlooked the starlit bay, nearly ringed with a sparse fence of palms, and on its roof, a little scarlet figure on the white rugs, Incarnacion sat waiting till Scott should come. Below her, the reeking city was hushed to a murmur, through which there sounded from the Praça a far throb of drums and pipe-music; and overhead the sky was a dome of velvet, spangled with a glory of bold stars. Save to the east, where the blank white walls of the house overlooked the water, there was on all sides a shadowy prospect of parapets, for in Superban the houses are close together and folk live intimately upon their roofs. As she sat, Incarnacion could hear a voice that quavered and choked as some stricken man laboured with his prayers against the plague that was laying the city waste. Through all Superban such petitions went up, while daily and nightly the tale of deaths mounted and the corpses multiplied faster than the graves.

Incarnacion lit herself a cigarette, tucked her feet under her, and wondered why Scott did not come. But her chief quality was serenity; she did not give herself over to worry, content to let all problems solve themselves, as most problems will. She was a wee girl, preserving on the threshold of sun-ripened womanhood the soft and pathetic graces of a docile child. Her scarlet dress left her warm arms bare, and did not trespass on the slender throat; she had all the charm of intrinsic femininity which comes to fruit so soon in the climate of Mozambique and fades so early. It was this, no doubt, that had taken Scott and held him; gaunt, harsh, direct in his purposes as he was quick in his strength, Incarnaçion had given scope to the tenderness that lurked beneath his rude forcefulness.

He came at last. She heard his step on the stair, cast her cigarette from her, and sprang to meet him with a little laugh of delight. He took her in his arms and lifted her from her little bare feet to kiss her.

'O-oh, Jock, you break me,' she gasped, as he set her down. You are strong like a bull. What you bin away so long ?'

He smiled at her gravely as he let himself down on her rugs and put a long arm round her.

Copyright, 1909, by Perceval Gibbon, in the United States of America.



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