Billeder på siden


See, what a wonderful smile! Does it mean

That my little one knows of my love?

Was it meant for an angel that passed unseen,

And smiled at us both from above?

Does it mean that he knows of the birds and the flowers

That are waiting to sweeten his childhood's hours,

And the tales I shall tell and the games he will play,

And the songs we shall sing and the prayers we shall pray In his boyhood's May,

He and I, one day?


For in the warm blue summer weather

We shall laugh and love together:

I shall watch my baby growing,
I shall guide his feet,

When the orange trees are blowing
And the winds are heavy and sweet!
When the orange orchards whiten
I shall see his great eyes brighten
To watch the long-legged camels going
Up the twisted street,

When the orange trees are blowing
And the winds are sweet.

What does it mean? Indeed, it seems
A dream! Yet not like other dreams!

We shall walk in pleasant vales,
Listening to the shepherd's song

I shall tell him lovely tales
All day long:

He shall laugh while mother sings
Tales of fishermen and kings.

He shall see them come and go
O'er the wistful sea,

Where rosy oleanders blow

Round blue Lake Galilee,

Kings with fishers' ragged coats
And silver nets across their boats,
Dipping through the starry glow,
With crowns for him and me!
Ah, no;

Crowns for him, not me!

Rockaby so! Indeed, it seems

A dream! yet not like other dreams!


Ah, see what a wonderful smile again!
Shall I hide it away in my heart,
To remember one day in a world of pain
When the years have torn us apart,
Little babe,

When the years have torn us apart?

Sleep, my little one, sleep,

Child with the wonderful eyes,

Wild miraculous eyes,

Deep as the skies are deep!

What star-bright glory of tears

Waits in you now for the years

That shall bid you waken and weep?

Ah, in that day, could I kiss you to sleep

Then, little lips, little eyes,

Little lips that are lovely and wise,

Little lips that are dreadful and wise!


Clenched little hands like crumpled roses
Dimpled and dear,

Feet like flowers that the dawn uncloses,

What do I fear?

Little hands, will you ever be clenched in anguish? White little limbs, will you droop and languish? Nay, what do I hear?

I hear a shouting, far away,

You shall ride on a kingly palm-strewn way

Some day!

But when you are crowned with a golden crown
And throned on a golden throne,

You'll forget the manger of Bethlehem town
And your mother that sits alone
Wondering whether the mighty king
Remembers a song she used to sing,
Long ago,

Rockaby so,

Kings may have wonderful jewels to bring,
Mother has only a kiss for her king!"...

Ah, see what a wonderful smile, once more!
He opens his great dark eyes!

Little child, little king, nay, hush, it is o'er,
My fear of those deep twin skies,—
Little child,

You are all too dreadful and wise!


But now you are mine, all mine,

And your feet can lie in my hand so small, And your tiny hands in my heart can twine, And you cannot walk, so you never shall fall, Or be pierced by the thorns beside the door, Or the nails that lie upon Joseph's floor; Through sun and rain, through shadow and shine, You are mine, all mine!




"TAKE not any life at all," is one of the Buddhist commandments. "How can there be any compassion in a flesheater, truth in a drunkard, shame in one greatly covetous, proficiency in one who is slothful, and wealth in one with a bad temper?" says the 'Lokaniti.'


The strict observance of the rule sometimes has very inconvenient results. With the extension of missionary endeav. our it is gradually disappear ing, but in some parts of Upper Burma at the time of the annexation the prohibition was very generally obeyed, and proved particularly awkward when there were British troops in want of beef, and commissariat officers clamorous for slaughter-cattle. Small parties could usually find some who affected to believe that a calf was wanted because of its markings, a village rooster because it might be used for cock - fighting, or a goat because it was a playful beast, or had a comical beard,-but when rations were wanted for a hundred Tommy Atkinses all at once there were frequently great difficulties, in all but the larger towns or the districts along the banks of the Irrawaddy river, where there were usually Mohammedan butchers.

There was a column which went to a very remote station. The intervening country had

been in a state of civil war for years, so the commissariat officer laid in a supply of "bully " beef, with ration biscuits of the variety that is called ship's bread by sailors, and, in addition to this, by the advice of the civil authorities, a herd of slaughtercattle was marched along with the party. All went well on the march, though the Tommies jeered at the commissariat bread, and said it was sheer waste of the country's money to carry it on pack animals. "Set it down on the road and it will walk itself," was the favourite joke. There were so many weevils in it! The slaughter - cattle got wofully thin, for it was the beginning of the hot weather when there is no grazing to be had, and the scarcity of water is made all the more evident by the superfluity of dust.

When the column reached its destination there was no fighting; but the place was very remote, and there had been inter-state raids for so long that when it was decided to establish a post it was resolved that it was desirable to stiffen it by leaving half a British battery and two companies of a line regiment.

The station was in one of the feudatory states, and the chief was a man who, after a riotous youth, had come to the conclusion that it was time to

"make his soul." Accordingly, one of the most peremptory of his orders was that cattle were not to be killed, and that no meat was to be sold in the markets. There were minor rulings that fish were not to be caught during Lent, and that it was desirable that no fowls' eggs should be offered for sale until it was quite certain from long keeping that the germ of life no longer existed in them. The fowls' eggs there, and in many other places, were usually kept as fees for the civil surgeon, to be presented by grateful patients who wished to show their sense of obligation for the cures which he had effected. Such items of food, however, as fish, or eggs, even if they had been laid within the same month, were of course not of any use for the feeding of British troops.

The supply of slaughtercattle marched up had been fairly large, and they lasted for some weeks after the fort had been laid out and the barracks built for the troops; but a time came when only a very few were left, and the commissariat officer, according to the custom of the department, wrote an indent to the civil officer asking that arrangements might be made with the people of the country for a regular supply of fresh meat, which would be bought alive after inspection by the committee appointed for that purpose, or dead, after it had been passed by the medical officer.

The civil officer ordered his clerk to make arrangements,

and the clerk called upon the village headman to supply cattle on requisition, but none were forthcoming. The headman simply referred to the orders of the chief of the state, and added some pious reflections of his own.


The commissariat officer was informed officially that cattle were procurable locally, and was recommended to make arrangements for a regular supply from headquarters. He came round in person to the civil officer. He was an unpleasant-looking person, fat with the fatness of the native, with a suggestion of ghee, or tallow candles, or axle grease, the fatness of disease, or of the animal pampered for a cattle show. There was also a suggestion that his complexion was rather the sunburn of his ancestors than of any exposure of his person to tropical suns ; but he had the name of being a good officer, and was very eager to prove his capacity for a much better station than a place on the confines of Burma. He cordially disliked the civil officer, and was not alone in this, for Warcop was a man who had been for years in outof-the-way places, where he was always the burra sahib, and so had insensibly acquired the self-satisfied and autocratic manner which suggested finality in all he said. He was a man of very imperfect education, and knew it, but he did know all the ways of government, and was as learned in all the circulars of the administration as a secretariat babu, who is a simple index.

« ForrigeFortsæt »