The Lord knows what we may find, dear lass,
And the deuce knows what we may do—
But we’re back once more on the old trail, our own trail,
     the out trail,
We’re down, hull down on the Long Trail—the trail that
      is always new.

899   The Way through the Woods

THEY shut the road through the woods
   Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
   And now you would never know
There was once a path through the woods
   Before they planted the trees,
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
   And the thin anemones.
   Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
   And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Yet, if you enter the woods
   Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout- ring’d pools
   Where the otter whistles his mate,
(They fear not men in the woods
   Because they see so few)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet
   And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
   Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
   As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods ...
But there is no road through the woods.

900   Recessional

June 22, 1897

GOD of our fathers, known of old—
   Lord of our far-flung battle-line—
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
   Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies—
   The captains and the kings depart—
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
   An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget!

Far-call’d our navies melt away—
   On dune and headland sinks the fire—
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
   Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
   Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe—
Such boasting as the Gentiles use
   Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
   In reeking tube and iron shard—
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
   And guarding calls not Thee to guard—
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!

  By PanEris using Melati.

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