Rudyard Kipling

The Song Of The Old Guard

Know this, my brethren, Heaven is clear And all the clouds are gone-- The Proper Sort shall flourish now, Good times are coming on"-- The evil that was threatened late To all of our degree Hath passed in discord and debate, And,Hey then up go we! A common people strove in vain To shame us unto toil, But they are spent and we remain, And we shall share the spoil According to our several needs As Beauty shall decree, As Age ordains or Birth concedes, And, Hey then up go we! And they that with accursed zeal Our Service would amend, Shall own the odds and come to heel Ere worse befall their end: For though no naked word be wrote Yet plainly shall they see What pinneth Orders on their coat, And, Hey then up go we! Our doorways that, in time of fear, We opened overwide Shall softly close from year to year Till all be purified; For though no fluttering fan be heard . Nor chaff be seen to flee-- The Lord shall winnow the Lord's Preferred-- And, Hey then up go we! Our altars which the heathen brake Shall rankly smoke anew, And anise, mint and cummin take Their dread and sovereign due, Whereby the buttons of our trade Shall soon restored be With curious work in gilt and braid, And, Hey then up go we! Then come, my brethren, and prepare The candlesticks and bells, The scarlet, brass, and badger's hair Wherein our Honour dwells, And straitly fence and strictly keep The Ark's integrity Till Armageddon break our sleep . . . And, Hey then go we!

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