Lord, you know me for a sinner. My sins are... carnal, venal, and unforgivable, I know that. And I think you have already decided to cast me out into the darkness, like a fallen angel, to suffer in purgatory or the fires of hell for all eternity. Think you, Lord, that I can look upon such scenes with equanimity? That I do not dream, in the dead of night, of returning to your light and the promises of heaven? Am I not a man like other men?

And yet, I would sup with the Devil, if he would show me how to achieve my earthly goals. Your kingdom, Lord, as you have said, is not of this world, but my kingdom is.

And therefore, there is no help for me. No other way for me ... but eternal damnation.

~ King Ecbert

datafeed article 11
published: 2017-09-08
author: stjohn_piano
signed by author: no

'Let us now praise famous men' -
Men of little showing -
For their work continueth,
And their work continueth,
Broad and deep continueth,
Greater than their knowing!

Western wind and open surge
Took us from our mothers;
Flung us on a naked shore
(Twelve bleak houses by the shore!
Seven summers by the shore!)
'Mid two hundred brothers.

There we met with famous men
Set in office o'er us;
And they beat on us with rods -
Faithfully with many rods -
Daily beat us on with rods,
For the love they bore us.

Out of Egypt unto Troy -
Over Himalaya -
Far and sure our bands have gone -
Hy-Brasil or Babylon,
Islands of the Southern Run,
And cities of Cathaia!

And we all praise famous men -
Ancients of the College;
For they taught us common sense -
Tried to teach us common sense -
Truth and God's Own Common Sense,
Which is more than knowledge!

Each degree of Latitude
Strung about Creation
Seeth one (or more) of us
(Of one muster all of us),
Diligent in that he does,
Keen in his vocation.

This we learned from famous men,
Knowing not its uses,
When they showed, in daily work,
Man must finish off his work -
Right or wrong, his daily work -
And without excuses.

Servants of the Staff and chain,
Mine and fuse and grapnel -
Some before the face of Kings,
Stand before the face of Kings;
Bearing gifts to divers Kings -
Gifts of case and shrapnel.

This we learned from famous men
Teaching in our borders,
Who declar├Ęd it was best,
Safest, easiest, and best -
Expeditious, wise, and best -
To obey your orders.

Some beneath the further stars
Bear the greater burden:
Set to serve the lands they rule,
(Save he serve no man may rule),
Serve and love the lands they rule;
Seeking praise nor guerdon.

This we learned from famous men
Knowing not we learned it.
Only, as the years went by -
Lonely, as the years went by -
Far from help as years went by,
Plainer we discerned it.

Wherefore praise we famous men
From whose bays we borrow -
They that put aside To-day -
All the joys of their To-day -
And with toil of their To-day
Bought for us To-morrow!

Bless and praise we famous men -
Men of little showing -
For their work continueth,
And their work continueth,
Broad and deep continueth,
Great beyond their knowing!

[start of notes]

I have a book copy of Stalky & Co., which was published in 1965 by Macmillan & Co Ltd in London and printed by R. & R. Clark Ltd in Edinburgh. I have treated this book as the authoritative version.

The book is dedicated to:
Cormell Price
Headmaster, United Services College
Westward Ho! Bideford, North Devon

First Edition October 1899
Reprinted November 1899, 1908, 1910, 1912, 1913, 1915, 1917, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1927, 1929, 1935, 1939, 1947
Library Edition 1950
Reprinted 1951, 1954, 1957, 1960, 1965

I downloaded a text version of this book from Project Gutenberg (link), produced by A. Elizabeth Warren, which I used as my starting text.

Changes from the original text:
- I have substituted a hyphen with a space either side of it ( - ) for the em dash used in the original text.

[end of notes]