Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling (Photo credit: CWGC)

Something unchanging; from Kipling, of course.




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?
They shall not return to us; the strong men coldly slain
In sight of help denied from day to day:
But the men who edged their agonies and chid them in their pain,
Are they too strong and wise to put away?Our dead shall not return to us while Day and Night divide–
 Never while the bars of sunset hold.
But the idle-minded overlings who quibbled while they died,
Shall they thrust for high employments as of old?Shall we only threaten and be angry for an hour:
When the storm is ended shall we find
How softly but how swiftly they have sidled back to power
By the favour and contrivance of their kind?Even while they soothe us, while they promise large amends,
Even while they make a show of fear,
Do they call upon their debtors, and take counsel with their friends,
To conform and re-establish each career?Their lives cannot repay us–their death could not undo–
The shame that they have laid upon our race.
But the slothfulness that wasted and the arrogance that slew,
Shell we leave it unabated in its place?

Poems – Mesopotamia.

Isn’t it about time that we have leadership that is worthy

of those they supposedly lead?

An Important Update

My co-author, Jessica, who is a legitimate Kipling scholar, amongst her many wonderful qualities, has just posted a companion piece to this, on her blog, called Epitaphs and Wars . If you’ve ever wondered why so many of us love a poet, whom you have so often heard described as racist and pro empire, her article will begin to explain it, as it also explains why I considered it entirely appropriate to pair him with Pete Seeger.

Do read it.


About Neo
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7 Responses to Mesopotamia

  1. boudicabpi says:

    Reblogged this on BPI reblog and commented:


  2. Pingback: Epitaphs and Wars | All Along the Watchtower

  3. Amyclae says:

    Have you checked out Orwell’s analysis of Kipling? It’s some interesting stuff.


    • NEO says:

      I haven’t but shall. Sounds quite interesting, indeed.


      • Amyclae says:

        He’s not the biggest fan of Kipling but acknowledges that he is, in his own inexplicable way, here. Not because of jingoism or anything of the sort. But because he represented a type of thought that was ‘complete’ even if Orwell disagreed with it.


        • NEO says:

          That makers all the sense in the world. They both, while not agreeing all that much, were complex (and deep) thinking men, which is why they a select few others, G.K. Chesterton come to mind, are enjoyable to ponder and study, whether you agree or not. They always make you think.


  4. Pingback: Fallujah | nebraskaenergyobserver

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