The Winners

  Envoi to The Story of the Gadsbys

What is the moral ? Who rides may read.
  When the night is thick and the tracks are blind,
A friend at a pinch is a friend indeed;
  But a fool to wait for the laggard behind
Down to Gehenna, or up to the Throne,
He travels the fastest who travels alone.

White hands cling to the tightened rein,
  Slipping the spur from the booted heel,
Tenderest voices cry, "Turn again,"
  Red lips tarnish the scabbarded steel,
High hopes faint on a warm hearth-stone
He travels the fastest who travels alone.

One may fall, but he falls by himself
  Falls by himself, with himself to blame;
One may attain, and to him is the pelf,
  Loot of the city in Gold or Fame
Plunder of earth shall be all his own
Who travels the fastest, and travels alone.

Stayed by a friend in the hour of toil,
  Sing the heretical song I have made
  His be the labour, and yours be the spoil.
Win by his aid, and the aid disown
He travels the fastest who travels alone.