Last Songs from Vagabondia

by Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey


 

THE ADVENTURERS


 

WE are the adventurers who come
Before the merchants and the priests;
Our only legacy from home,
A wisdom older than the East’s.

Soldiers of Fortune, we unfurl

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The banners of a forlorn hope,
Leaving the city smoke to curl
O’er dingy roofs where puppets mope.

We are the Ishmaelites of earth
Who at the crossroads beat the drum;

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None guess our lineage nor our birth,
The flag we serve nor whence we come.

We claim a Sire that no man knows,
The Emperor of Night and Days,
Who saith to Caesar, "Go,"—he goes,

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To Alexander, "Stay,"—he stays.

Out of a greater town than Tyre,
We march to conquer and control
The golden hill-lands of Desire,
The Nicaraguas of the soul.

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We have cast in our lot with Truth;
We will not flinch nor stay the hand,
Till on the last skyline of youth
We look down on his fair new land.

We put from port without a fear,

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For Freedom on this Spanish Main;
And the great wind that bore us here
Will drive our galleys home again.

If not, we can lie down and die,
Content to perish with our peers,

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So one more rood we gained thereby
For Love’s Dominion through the years.