Valediction To The SS. 'Arabia,' When Returning With Her Passengers From The Delhi Durbar

A poem by John Kendall

Now the busy screw is churning,
Now the horrid sirens blow;
Now are India's guests returning
Home from India's Greatest Show;
Now the gleeful Asiatic
Speeds them on their wild career,
And, though normally phlegmatic,
Gives a half-unconscious cheer.

India's years were years of leanness,
Till the Late Performance drew
These, whose confidential greenness
She has run for all she knew.
Gladly rose the land to bid them
Welcome for a fleeting spell -
Nobly took them in and did them -
And has done extremely well.

Peace be theirs, important Packet,
Genial skies and happy calms -
No derogatory racket,
No humiliating qualms!
Gales, I charge you, shun to rouse and
Lash the seas to angry foam,
While Britannia's Great Ten Thousand
Sweep, with huge enjoyment, home!

Let the spiced and salty zephyr
Build them up in frame and mind,
Till they feel as fresh and effer-
vescent as their hearts are kind,
And in triumph close their Indian
Tour on far Massilia's quay,
Never having known too windy an
Offing, too disturbed a sea.

So, when English snows are falling,
When the fogs are growing dense,
They shall hear the East a-calling,
And shall come, and blow expense.
Every year shall bring his Argo;
Every year a grateful East
Shall receive her golden Cargo,
And restore the Gilded - Fleeced!

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