Poems 21

Before the We.R.7 Fell


Of We.R.7 I’m the bard

Who sings their songs and tells their tales

The deeds they did, the things they dared –

The perilous course they set their sails

There are the themes my muses tell

Before the “We Are Seven” fell.


I’d sing of a fight before a gale

Of winter’s worst and summer’s heat

Round big events I’d weave my tale

And leave their memory to the rest:

Of things we dreamed and did I’d tell

Before the “We Are Seven” fell.

These are the days beyond recall

But  who’d recall them if they could?

They have not passed beyond the Wall

Until they’ve left their mark for good

The good that’s done no-one could tell

Until the “We Are Seven” fell.


When out of touch with pleasant things

And out of mood with human kind

Maybe to scan this book that sings

Of days that they have left behind

Will take them back, as by a spell

For what they did, to what befell

Before the “We Are Seven” fell.                     August 1930



They Never, Never, Swear


Oh, ‘We are Seven’, one and all

List to the warbling virginal

And heed ye all the holy call

          To mass, or else to prayer:

I can vouch that this is true –

I’ve just heard someone speak of you

Who says you’re good, and pious too,

          And never never swear!


Ye gods! The noted ‘Seven are We’

A sainted heavenly company!

It’s never before occurred to me –

          (And often I’ve been there)

To think a ‘We.R.Seven’ chap

Could meet with any big mishap

Or a tumble into irate trap

          And never never swear!


Just think of Joe and Wally Kay –

A couple who will have their say

If trouble meets them by the way

          A most abandoned pair!

Imagine Joe in robes of white

Round Wally’s head a haloed light –

They couldn’t make a puncture right

          And never never swear!


And look at Tom in parson’s black

A starch-stiff collar, front to back

Why, he’d raise a breezy track

          If he’d a Daniel dare!

Then think of Fred on camping bent,

When back from morning stroll he went

D’you think if he found a cow in his tent

          He’d never never swear!


 Though rarely heard is language hot

Plaster saints we are certainly not –

For goody-goods we’ve no use got –

          That kind we cannot bear:

We know the words from ‘a’ to ‘z’

Though mostly they are left unsaid

But without truth was he who said

          They never never swear!                     March 1928


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