Poem – The Whale 

The Whale that wanders round the Pole

Is not a table fish.

You cannot bake or boil him whole

Nor serve him in a dish;
But you may cut his blubber up

And melt it down for oil.

And so replace the colza bean

(A product of the soil).
These facts should all be noted down

And ruminated on,

By every boy in Oxford town
Who wants to be a Don. 

Poem – The South Country

When I am living in the Midlands 

That are sodden and unkind, 

I light my lamp in the evening: 

My work is left behind; 

And the great hills of the South Country 

Come back into my mind. 
The great hills of the South Country 

They stand along the sea; 

And it’s there walking in the high woods 

That I could wish to be, 

And the men that were boys when I was a boy 

Walking along with me. 
The men that live in North England 

I saw them for a day: 

Their hearts are set upon the waste fells, 

Their skies are fast and grey; 

From their castle-walls a man may see 

The mountains far away. 
The men that live in West England 

They see the Severn strong, 

A-rolling on rough water brown 

Light aspen leaves along. 

They have the secret of the Rocks, 

And the oldest kind of song. 
But the men that live in the South Country 

Are the kindest and most wise, 

They get their laughter from the loud surf, 

And the faith in their happy eyes 

Comes surely from our Sister the Spring 

When over the sea she flies; 

The violets suddenly bloom at her feet, 

She blesses us with surprise. 
I never get between the pines 

But I smell the Sussex air; 

Nor I never come on a belt of sand 

But my home is there. 

And along the sky the line of the Downs 

So noble and so bare. 
A lost thing could I never find, 

Nor a broken thing mend: 

And I fear I shall be all alone 

When I get towards the end. 

Who will there be to comfort me 

Or who will be my friend? 
I will gather and carefully make my friends 

Of the men of the Sussex Weald; 

They watch the stars from silent folds, 

They stiffly plough the field. 

By them and the God of the South Country 

My poor soul shall be healed. 
If I ever become a rich man, 

Or if ever I grow to be old, 

I will build a house with deep thatch 

To shelter me from the cold, 

And there shall the Sussex songs be sung 

And the story of Sussex told. 
I will hold my house in the high wood 

Within a walk of the sea, 

And the men that were boys when I was a boy 

Shall sit and drink with me. 

Poem – Rebel 

There is a wall of which the stones 

Are lies and bribes and dead men’s bones. 

And wrongfully this evil wall 

Denies what all men made for all, 

And shamelessly this wall surrounds 

Our homesteads and our native grounds. 
But I will gather and I will ride, 

And I will summon a countryside, 

And many a man shall hear my halloa 

Who never had thought the horn to follow; 

And many a man shall ride with me 

Who never had thought on earth to see 

High Justice in her armoury. 
When we find them where they stand, 

A mile of men on either hand, 

I mean to charge from right away 

And force the flanks of their array, 

And press them inward from the plains, 

And drive them clamouring down the lanes, 

And gallop and harry and have them down, 

And carry the gates and hold the town. 

Then shall I rest me from my ride 

With my great anger satisfied. 
Only, before I eat and drink, 

When I have killed them all, I think 

That I will batter their carven names, 

And slit the pictures in their frames, 

And burn for scent their cedar door, 

And melt the gold their women wore, 

And hack their horses at the knees, 

And hew to death their timber trees, 

And plough their gardens deep and through— 

And all these things I mean to do 

For fear perhaps my little son 

Should break his hands, as I have done. 

Poem – The Wantaritencant 

It watched me in the cradle laid, and from my boyhood’s home

It  glared above my shoulder-blade when I wrote my first “pome”;

It’s sidled by me ever since, with greeny eyes aslant—

It is the thing (O, Priest and Prince!) that wants to write, but can’t.
It yells and slobbers, mows and whines, It follows everywhere;

’Tis gloating on these very lines with red and baleful glare.

It murders friendship, love and truth (It makes the “reader” pant),

It ruins editorial youth, the Wantaritencant.
Its slime is ever on my work, and ever on my name;

No toil nor trouble does It shirk—for It will write, all the same!

It tantalized when great thoughts burned, in trouble and in want;

It makes it hell for all concerned, the Wantaritencant.
And now that I would gladly die, or rest my weary mind,

I cannot rest to think that I must leave the Thing behind.

Its green rot damns the dead, for sure—that greatest curse extant,

’Twill kill Australian literature, the Wantaritencant!
You cannot kill or keep It still, or ease It off a bit;

It talks about Itself until the world believes in It.

It is a Scare, a Fright, a Ghast, a Gibber, and a Rant,

A future Horror and a Past, the Wantaritencant! 

Poem – The Voice from Over Yonder

“Did she care as much as I did

When our paths of Fate divided?

Was the love, then, all onesided—

Did she understand or care?”

Slowly fall the moments leaden,

And the silence seems to deaden—

And a voice from over yonder answers sadly: “I’ve been there.”

“Have you tramped the streets of cities

Poor? And do you know what it is—

While no mortal cares or pities—

To have drifted past ambition;

To have sunk below despair?

Doomed to slave and stint and borrow;

Ever haunted in your sorrow

By the spectre of To-morrow?”

And the voice from over yonder answers sadly: “I’ve been there.”
“Surely in the wide Hereafter

There’s a land of love and laughter?

Say: Is this life all we live for—

Say it! think it, if you dare!

Have you ever thought or wondered

Why the Man and God were sundered?

Do you think the Maker blundered?”

And the voice, in mocking accents, answered only: “I’ve been there.”