A Departure

Since first the White Horse Banner blew free,
By Hengist's horde unfurled,
Nothing has changed on land or sea
Of the things that steer the world.
(As it was when the long-ships scudded through the gale
So it is where the Liners go.)
Time and Tide, they are both in a tale--
"Woe to the weaker -- woe! "

No charm can bridle the hard-mouthed wind
Or smooth the fretting swell.
No gift can alter the grey Sea's mind,
But she serves the strong man well.
(As it is when her uttermost deeps are stirred
So it is where the quicksands show,)
All the waters have but one word--
"Woe to the weaker -- woe! "

The feast is ended, the tales are told,
The dawn is overdue,
And we meet on the quay in the whistling cold
Where the galley waits her crew.
Out with the torches, they have flared too long,
And bid the harpers go.
Wind and warfare have but one song--
"Woe to the weaker -- woe!"

Hail to the great oars gathering way,
As the beach begins to slide!
Hail to the war-shields' click and play
As they lift along our side!
Hail to the first wave over the bow--
Slow for the sea-stroke! Slow!--
All the benches are grunting now:--
"Woe to the weaker -- woe!"

by Rudyard Kipling

Comments (9)

poetic in words...flowing with depth brilliantly thought-of piece.. inspiring and painting a picture of reality in life LIFE..is really a bitter battle.....bettersweet.. thanks for sharing... 10+++ lovelots, Maia
The consumer’s experience is the acme of the Brand; You’ve just been had: welcome to the Promised Land! nice words, great imagery, i dont think i have understood it fully well beacuse there are so many messages in it.........u are teacher....blessed are ur students..
This is a very effective piece indeed...I felt the words of inspiration....yet the thing is when you go to the real world...to face all the challenges and the uphill battle is easier said than done though...yet, if these can't speak to the core of the reader's heart..no work can i think..strong /effective piece..nice one sir...10+++ regards shan
beautiful like history..well penned poem..grace
A thought provoking poem! I only hope this Kaly-yug don't end in spelling out our doom! 10+ -Raj Nandy
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