In the Strange South Seas

Front Cover
Fb&c Limited, Jun 25, 2015 - Fiction - 356 pages
Excerpt from In the Strange South Seas

In desire of many marvels over sea,
When the new made tropic city sweats and roars,
I have sailed with young Ulysses from the quay,
Till the anchor rattled down on stranger shores.

Kipling.

Most men have their loves, happy or hopeless, among the countries of the earth. There are words in the atlas that ring like trumpet calls to the ear of many a stay-at-home in grey northern cities - names of mountains, rivers, islands, that tramp across the map to the sound of swinging music played by their own gay syllables, that summon, and lure, and sadden the man who listens to their fifing, as the music of marching regiments grips at the heart of the girl who loves a soldier.

They call, they call, they call - through the long March mornings, when the road that leads to everywhere is growing white and dry - through restless summer nights, when one sits awake at the window to see the stars turn grey with the dawn - in the warm midday, when one hurries across the city bridge to a crowded eating-house, and the glittering masts far away down the river must never be looked at as one passes. Of a misty autumn evening, when steamers creeping up to seaport towns send long cries across the water, one here, and another there, will stir uneasily in his chair by the fire, and shut his ears against the insistent call... Why should he listen, he who may never answer?

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