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Hiraghm
03-25-2003, 04:43 PM
Okay, I've been digging in my text files, and come across some more Kiplings I feel compelled to inflict on y'all. So if you don't want to be Kippled, move on... :D

Hiraghm
03-25-2003, 04:51 PM
I've offset the bits of this Kipling poem that seem to be present on my mind these days...


An American

1894

The American Spirit speaks:

If the Led Striker call it a strike,
Or the papers call it a war,
They know not much what I am like,
Nor what he is, My Avatar.

Through many roads, by me possessed,
He shambles forth in cosmic guise;
He is the Jester and the Jest,
And he the Text himself applies.

The Celt is in his heart and hand,
The Gaul is in his brain and nerve;
Where, cosmopolitanly planned,
He guards the Redskin's dry reserve

His easy unswept hearth he lends
From Labrador to Guadeloupe;
Till, elbowed out by sloven friends,
He camps, at sufferance, on the stoop.

Calm-eyed he scoffs at Sword and Crown,
Or, panic-blinded, stabs and slays:
Blatant he bids the world bow down,
Or cringing begs a crust of praise;

Or, sombre-drunk, at mine and mart,
He dubs his dreary breathren Kings.
His hands are black with blood -- his heart
Leaps, as a babe's, at little things.

But, through the shift of mood and mood,
Mine ancient humour saves him whole --
The cynic devil in his blood
That bids him mock his hurrying soul;

That bids him flout the Law he makes,
That bids him make the Law he flouts,
Till, dazed by many doubts, he wakes
The drumming guns that -- have no doubts;

That checks him foolish-hot and fond,
That chuckles through his deepest ire,
That gilds the slough of his despond
But dims the goal of his desire;

Inopportune, shrill-accented,
The acrid Asiatic mirth
That leaves him, careless 'mid his dead,
The scandal of the elder earth.

How shall he clear himself, how reach
Your bar or weighed defence prefer --
A brother hedged with alien speech
And lacking all interpreter?

Which knowledge vexes him a space;
But, while Reproof around him rings,
He turns a keen untroubled face
Home, to the instant need of things.

Enslaved, illogical, elate,
He greets the embarrassed Gods, nor fears
To shake the iron hand of Fate
Or match with Destiny for beers.

Lo, imperturbable he rules,
Unkempt, desreputable, vast --
And, in the teeth of all the schools,
I -- I shall save him at the last!

Hiraghm
03-25-2003, 04:55 PM
I hope the following is a question the Iraqi people, and those protesting America and Britain around the globe, ask themselves in the near future...


The Quesion

1916

Brethren, how shall it fare with me
When the war is laid aside,
If it be proven that I am he
For whom a world has died?

If it be proven that all my good,
And the greater good I will make,
Were purchased me by a multitude
Who suffered for my sake?

That I was delivered by mere mankind
Vowed to one sacrifice,
And not, as I hold them, battle-blind,
But dying with open eyes?

That they did not ask me to draw the sword
When they stood to endure their lot --
That they only looked to me for a word,
And I answered I knew them not?

If it be found, when the battle clears,
Their death has set me free,
Then how shall I live with myself through the years
Which they have bought for me?

Brethren, how must it fare with me,
Or how am I justified,
If it be proven that I am he
For whom mankind has died --
If it be proven that I am he
Who, being questioned, denied?

Hiraghm
03-25-2003, 05:02 PM
After hearing the improbable Iraqi rhetoric that an Apache was taken out by a farmer with a rifle (and turns out not to be the case,) I thought of this poem. This is one of the few flaws in Kipling's writings. The odds aren't on the cheaper man. It just seems that way sometimes.



Arithmetic on the Frontier

A great and glorious thing it is
To learn, for seven years or so,
The Lord knows what of that and this,
Ere reckoned fit to face the foe --
The flying bullet down the Pass,
That whistles clear: "All flesh is grass."

Three hundred pounds per annum spent
On making brain and body meeter
For all the murderous intent
Comprised in "villanous saltpetre!"
And after -- ask the Yusufzaies
What comes of all our 'ologies.

A scrimmage in a Border Station --
A canter down some dark defile --
Two thousand pounds of education
Drops to a ten-rupee jezail --
The Crammer's boast, the Squadron's pride,
Shot like a rabbit in a ride!

No proposition Euclid wrote,
No formulae the text-books know,
Will turn the bullet from your coat,
Or ward the tulwar's downward blow
Strike hard who cares -- shoot straight who can --
The odds are on the cheaper man.

One sword-knot stolen from the camp
Will pay for all the school expenses
Of any Kurrum Valley scamp
Who knows no word of moods and tenses,
But, being blessed with perfect sight,
Picks off our messmates left and right.

With home-bred hordes the hillsides teem,
The troop-ships bring us one by one,
At vast expense of time and steam,
To slay Afridis where they run.
The "captives of our bow and spear"
Are cheap -- alas! as we are dear.

Hiraghm
03-25-2003, 05:08 PM
Some will be familiar with this reference. I doubt many who protest the war will be, however. Yet it is precisely what some have suggested we do when dealing with Hussein. We've tried it before, with other tyrants. It never works for long.


Dane-Geld

A.D. 980-1016

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say: --
"We invaded you last night -- we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld
And then you'll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: --
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we've proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: --

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!"

Epita
03-26-2003, 04:12 AM
they are all boring. want fun poems? go read Ted hughs Crow, and laugh away

Epita