Rudyard Kipling

R
Rudyard Kipling
The Children
1914-18

("The Honours of War"—A Diversity of Creatures) These were our children who died for our lands: they were dear in our sight.
We have only the memory left of their home-treasured sayings and laughter.
The price of our loss shall be paid to our hands, not another’s hereafter.
Neither the Alien nor Priest shall decide on it. That is our right.
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A Death-Bed
1918 "This is the State above the Law.
The State exists for the State alone."
[This is a gland at the back of the jaw,
And an answering lump by the collar-bone.]
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37
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"For All We Have And Are"
1914 For all we have and are,
For all our children's fate,
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35
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Justice
October, 1918 Across a world where all men grieve
And grieving strive the more,
The great days range like tides and leave
Our dead on every shore.
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38
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Mesopotamia
1917 They shall not return to us, the resolute, the young,
The eager and whole-hearted whom we gave:
But the men who left them thriftily to die in their own dung,
Shall they come with years and honour to the grave?
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48
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"Tin Fish"
1914-18
(Sea Warfare) The ships destroy us above
And ensnare us beneath.
We arise, we lie down, and we move
In the belly of Death.
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"The Trade"
1914-18
(Sea Warfare) They bear, in place of classic names,
Letters and numbers on their skin.
They play their grisly blindfold games
In little boxes made of tin.
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39
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The Verdicts
(JUTLAND)

1916 Not in the thick of the fight,
Not in the press of the odds,
Do the heroes come to their height,
Or we know the demi-gods.
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Epitaphs of the War
1914-18 “equality of sacrifice”

A. “I was a Have.” B. “I was a ‘have-not.’”
(Together).“What hast thou given which I gave not?”
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The City of Sleep
Over the edge of the purple down,
Where the single lamplight gleams,
Know ye the road to the Merciful Town
That is hard by the Sea of Dreams –
Where the poor may lay their wrongs away,
And the sick may forget to weep?
But we – pity us! Oh, pity us!
We wakeful; ah, pity us! –
We must go back with Policeman Day –
Back from the City of Sleep!

Weary they turn from the scroll and crown,
Fetter and prayer and plough –
They that go up to the Merciful Town,
For her gates are closing now.
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30
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Harp Song of the Dane Women
“The Knights of the Joyous Venture”—Puck of Pook’s Hill What is a woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
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The Bell Buoy
1896 They christened my brother of old—
And a saintly name he bears—
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34
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The Benefactors
Ah! What avails the classic bent
And what the cultured word,
Against the undoctored incident
That actually occurred?

And what is Art whereto we press
Through paint and prose and rhyme—
When Nature in her nakedness
Defeats us every time?
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Danny Deever
‘What are the bugles blowin’ for?' said Files-on-Parade.
‘To turn you out, to turn you out,’ the Colour-Sergeant said.
‘What makes you look so white, so white?’ said Files-on-Parade.
‘I’m dreadin’ what I’ve got to watch,’ the Colour-Sergeant said.
For they’re hangin’ Danny Deever, you can hear the Dead March play,
The Regiment’s in ’ollow square—they’re hangin’ him to-day;
They’ve taken of his buttons off an’ cut his stripes away,
An’ they're hangin’ Danny Deever in the mornin’.
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37
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Gethsemane
1914-1918 The Garden called Gethsemane
In Picardy it was,
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Gunga Din
You may talk o’ gin and beer
When you’re quartered safe out ’ere,
An’ you’re sent to penny-fights an’ Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An’ you’ll lick the bloomin’ boots of ’im that’s got it.
Now in Injia’s sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
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44
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If—
(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies) If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
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33
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The Long Trail
There’s a whisper down the field where the year has shot her yield,
And the ricks stand grey to the sun,
Singing: ‘Over then, come over, for the bee has quit the clover,
‘And your English summer's done.’
You have heard the beat of the off-shore wind,
And the thresh of the deep-sea rain;
You have heard the song—how long? how long?
Pull out on the trail again!
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A Pict Song
(‘The Winged Hats’ —Puck of Pook’s Hill) Rome never looks where she treads.
Always her heavy hooves fall
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27
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Recessional
1897 God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
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30
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The Secret of the Machines
(MODERN MACHINERY) We were taken from the ore-bed and the mine,
We were melted in the furnace and the pit—
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32
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Sestina of the Tramp-Royal
1896 Speakin’ in general, I ’ave tried ’em all—
The ’appy roads that take you o’er the world.
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34
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The Song of the Banjo
1894 You couldn’t pack a Broadwood half a mile—
You mustn’t leave a fiddle in the damp—
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Song of the Galley-Slaves
(‘“The Finest Story in the World”’—Many Inventions) We pulled for you when the wind was against us and the sails were low.
Will you never let us go?
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