Last Songs from Vagabondia

by Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey




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

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;

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,

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.


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,

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,

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