Jobson's Amen



BLESSED be the English and all their ways and works.
Cursèd be the Infidels, Hereticks, and Turks!
"Amen," quo' Jobson, " but where I used to lie
Was neither Candle, Bell nor Book to curse my brethren by.

"But a palm-tree in full bearing, bowing down, bowing down,
To a surf that drove unsparing at the brown, walled town
Conches in a temple, oil-lamps in a dome
And a low moon out of Africa said: 'This way home!'"

"Blessèd be the English and all that they profess.
Cursèd be the Savages that prance in nakedness!"
"Amen," quo' Jobson, "but where I used to lie
Was neither shirt nor pantaloons to catch my brethren by:

"But a well-wheel slowly creaking, going round, going round,
By a water-channel leaking over drowned, warm ground -
Parrots very busy in the trellised pepper-vine -
And a high sun over Asia shouting: 'Rise and shine !'"

"Blessèd be the English and everything they own.
Cursèd be the Infidels that bow to wood and stone!"
"Amen," quo' Jobson, "but where I used to lie
Was neither pew nor Gospelleer to save my brethren by:

"But a desert stretched and stricken, left and right, left and right,
Where the piled mirages thicken under white-hot light -
A skull beneath a sand-hill and a viper coiled inside -
And a red wind out of Libya roaring: 'Run and hide!'"

"Blessèd be the English and all they make or do.
Cursèd be the Hereticks who doubt that this is true!"
"Amen," quo' Jobson, "but where I mean to die
Is neither rule nor calliper to judge the matter by:

"But Himalaya heavenward-heading, sheer and vast, sheer and vast,
In a million summits bedding on the last world's past -
A certain sacred mountain where the scented cedars climb,
And - the feet of my Beloved hurrying back through Time! "