[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
(Cut for racist language)

Loot

If you've ever stole a pheasant-egg be'ind the keeper's back,
If you've ever snigged the washin' from the line,
If you've ever crammed a gander in your bloomin' 'aversack,
You will understand this little song o' mine.
But the service rules are 'ard, an' from such we are debarred,
For the same with English morals does not suit.
(~Cornet~: Toot! toot!)
W'y, they call a man a robber if 'e stuffs 'is marchin' clobber
With the --

(~Chorus~) Loo! loo! Lulu! lulu! Loo! loo! Loot! loot! loot!
Ow the loot!
Bloomin' loot!
That's the thing to make the boys git up an' shoot! )

By Rudyard Kipling
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Rimini
Marching Song of a Roman Legion of the Later Empire


When I left Rome for Lalage's sake,
By the Legions' Road to Rimini,
She vowed her heart was mine to take
With me and my shield to Rimini--
(Till the Eagles flew from Rimini--)
And I've tramped Britain, and I've tramped Gaul
And the Pontic shore where the snow-flakes fall
As white as the neck of Lalage--
(As cold as the heart of Lalage!)
And I've lost Britain, and I've lost Gaul,
And I've lost Rome and, worst of all,
I've lost Lalage! -

When you go by the Via Aurelia
As thousands have traveled before
Remember the Luck of the Soldier
Who never saw Rome any more!
Oh, dear was the sweetheart that kissed him,
And dear was the mother that bore;
But his shield was picked up in the heather,
And he never saw Rome any more!

And he left Rome for Lalage's sake,
By the Legions' Road to Rimini,
She vowed her heart was his to take
With him and his shield to Rimini--
(Till the Eagles flew from Rimini--)
And he's tramped Britain, and he's tramped Gaul
And the Pontic shore where the snow-flakes fall
As white as the neck of Lalage--
(As cold as the heart of Lalage!)
And he's lost Britain, and he's lost Gaul,
And he's lost Rome and, worst of all,
He's lost Lalage!


When you go by the Via Aurelia
That runs from the City to Gaul,
Remember the Luck of the Soldier
Who rose to be master of all!
He carried the sword and the buckler,
He mounted his guard on the Wall,
Till the Legions elected him Caesar,
And he rose to be master of all!

And he left Rome for Lalage's sake,
By the Legions' Road to Rimini,
She vowed her heart was his to take
With him and his shield to Rimini--
(Till the Eagles flew from Rimini--)
And he's tramped Britain, and he's tramped Gaul
And the Pontic shore where the snow-flakes fall
As white as the neck of Lalage--
(As cold as the heart of Lalage!)
And he's lost Britain, and he's lost Gaul,
And he's lost Rome and, worst of all,
He's lost Lalage!


It's twenty-five marches to Narbo,
It's forty-five more up the Rhone,
And the end may be death in the heather
Or life on an Emperor's throne.
But whether the Eagles obey us,
Or we go to the Ravens--alone,
I'd sooner be Lalage's lover
Than sit on an Emperor's throne!

We've all left Rome for Lalage's sake
By the Legions' Road to Rimini,
She vowed her heart was ours to take
With us and our shields to Rimini--
(Till the Eagles flew from Rimini--)
And we've tramped Britain, and we've tramped Gaul
And the Pontic shore where the snow-flakes fall
As white as the neck of Lalage--
(As cold as the heart of Lalage!)
And we've lost Britain, and we've lost Gaul,
And we've lost Rome and, worst of all,
We've lost Lalage!


By Rudyard Kipling
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Boots

(Infantry Columns)

We're foot—slog—slog—slog—sloggin’ over Africa!
Foot—foot—foot—foot—sloggin’ over Africa—
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up and down again!)
There’s no discharge in the war!

Seven—six—eleven—five—nine-an’-twenty mile to-day—
Four—eleven—seventeen—thirty-two the day before—
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up and down again!)
There’s no discharge in the war!

Don’t—don’t—don’t—don’t—look at what’s in front of you.
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again!)
Men—men—men—men—men go mad with watchin’ ’em,
And there’s no discharge in the war!

Try—try—try—try—to think o’ something different—
Oh—my—God—keep—me from goin’ lunatic!
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again!)
There’s no discharge in the war!

Count—count—count—count—the bullets in the bandoliers.
If—your—eyes—drop—they will get atop o’ you
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up and down again!)
There’s no discharge in the war!

We—can—stick—out—’unger, thirst, an’ weariness,
But—not—not—not—not the chronic sight of ’em—
Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again!
An’ there’s no discharge in the war!

’Tain’t—so—bad—by—day because o’ company,
But—night—brings—long—strings—o’ forty thousand million
Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again.
There’s no discharge in the war!

I—’ave—marched—six—weeks in ’Ell an’ certify
It—is—not—fire—devils—dark or anything,
But boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again,
An’ there’s no discharge in the war!

By Rudyard Kipling
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The Verdicts
(Jutland)


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.

That stands over till peace.
We can only perceive
Men returned from the seas,
Very grateful for leave.

They grant us sudden days
Snatched from their business of war;
But we are too close to appraise
What manner of men they are.

And, whether their names go down
With age-kept victories,
Or whether they battle and drown
Unreckoned, is hid from our eyes.

They are too near to be great,
But our children shall understand
When and how our fate
Was changed, and by whose hand.

Our children shall measure their worth.
We are content to be blind
But we know that we walk on a new-born earth
With the saviours of mankind.

by Rudyard Kipling
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Dirge of the Dead Sisters
For the Nurses Who Died in the South African War

Who recalls the twilight and the ranged tents in order
(Violet peaks uplifted through the crystal evening air?)
And the clink of iron teacups and the piteous, noble laughter,
And the faces of the Sisters with the dust upon their hair?

(Now and not hereafter, while the breath is in our nostrils,
Now and not hereafter, ere the meaner years go by -
Let us now remember many honourable women,
Such as bade us turn again when we were like to die.)

Who recalls the morning and the thunder through the foothills,
(Tufts of fleecy shrapnel strung along the empty plains?)
And the sun-scarred Red-Cross coaches creeping guarded to the culvert,
And the faces of the Sisters looking gravely from the trains?

(When the days were torment and the nights were clouded terror,
When the Powers of Darkness had dominion on our soul -
When we fled consuming through the Seven Hells of Fever,
These put out their hands to us and healed and made us whole.)

Who recalls the midnight by the bridge's wrecked abutment,
(Autumn rain that rattled like a Maxim on the tin?)
And the lightning-dazzled levels and the streaming, straining wagons,
And the faces of the Sisters as they bore the wounded in?

(Till the pain was merciful and stunned us into silence -
When each nerve cried out on God that made the misused clay;
When the Body triumphed and the last poor shame departed -
These abode our agonies and wiped the sweat away.)

Who recalls the noontide and the funerals through the market,
(Blanket-hidden bodies, flagless, followed by the flies?)
And the footsore firing-party, and the dust and stench and staleness,
And the faces of the Sisters and the glory in their eyes?

(Bold behind the battle, in the open camp all-hallowed,
Patient, wise, and mirthful in the ringed and reeking town,
These endured unresting till they rested from their labours -
Little wasted bodies, ah, so light to lower down!)

Yet their graves are scattered and their names are clean forgotten,
Earth shall not remember, but the Waiting Angel knows
Them who died at Uitvlugt when the plague was on the city -
Her that fell at Simon's Town in service on our foes.

by Rudyard Kipling (1902)
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
My Boy Jack

Have you news of my boy Jack?
Not this tide.
When d'you think that he'll come back?
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

Has any one else had word of him?
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?
None this tide,
Nor any tide,
Except he did not shame his kind —
Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

Then hold your head up all the more,
This tide,
And every tide;
Because he was the son you bore,
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide!

By Rudyard Kipling

John Kipling was killed on September 27, 1915 at the Battle of Loos
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The Reeds At Runnymede

At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
What say the reeds at Runnymede?
The lissom reeds that give and take,
That bend so far, but never break,
They keep the sleepy Thames awake
With tales of John at Runnymede.

At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
Oh, hear the reeds at Runnymede:
'You musn't sell, delay, deny,
A freeman's right or liberty.
It wakes the stubborn Englishry,
We saw 'em roused at Runnymede!

When through our ranks the Barons came,
With little thought of praise or blame,
But resolute to play the game,
They lumbered up to Runnymede;
And there they launched in solid line
The first attack on Right Divine,
The curt uncompromising "Sign!'
They settled John at Runnymede.

At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
Your rights were won at Runnymede!
No freeman shall be fined or bound,
Or dispossessed of freehold ground,
Except by lawful judgment found
And passed upon him by his peers.
Forget not, after all these years,
The Charter signed at Runnymede.'

And still when mob or Monarch lays
Too rude a hand on English ways,
The whisper wakes, the shudder plays,
Across the reeds at Runnymede.
And Thames, that knows the moods of kings,
And crowds and priests and suchlike things,
Rolls deep and dreadful as he brings
Their warning down from Runnymede!

by Rudyard Kipling

Signing of the Magna Carta, June 15, 1215

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Song From The Mens' Side

Once we feared The Beast--when he followed us we ran,
Ran very fast though we knew
It was not right that The Beast should master Man;
But what could we Flint-workers do?
The Beast only grinned at our spears round his ears--
Grinned at the hammers that we made;
But now we will hunt him for the life with the Knife--
And this is the Buyer of the Blade!

Room for his shadow on the grass--let it pass!
To left and right-stand clear!
This is the Buyer of the Blade--be afraid!
This is the great god Tyr!

Tyr thought hard till he hammered our a plan,
For he knew it was not right
(And it is not right) that The Beast should master Man;
So he went to the Children of the Night.
He begged a Magic Knife of their make for our sake.
When he begged for the Knife they said:
"The price of the Knife you would buy is an eye!"
And that was the price he paid.

Tell it to the Barrows of the Dead--run ahead!
Shout it so the Women's Side can hear!
This is the Buyer of the Blade--be afraid!
This is the great god Tyr!

Our women and our little ones may walk on the Chalk,
As far as we can see them and beyond,
We shall not be anxious for our sheep when we keep
Tally at the shearing-pond.
We can eat with both our elbows on our knees, if we please,
We can sleep after meals in the sun,
For Shepherd-of-the-Twilight is dismayed at the Blade,
Feet-in-the-Night have run!
Dog-without-a-Master goes away (Hai, Tyr, aie!),
Devil-in-the-Dusk has run!

Then:
Room for his shadow on the grass-let it pass!
To left and to right--stand clear!
This is the Buyer of the Blade--be afraid!
This is the great god Tyr!

by Rudyard Kipling
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Tarrant Moss

I closed and drew for my love's sake
That now is false to me,
And I slew the Reiver of Tarrant Moss
And set Dumeny free.

They have gone down, they have gone down,
They are standing all in a row--
Twenty knights in the peat-water,
That never struck a blow!

Their armour shall not dull nor rust,
Their flesh shall not decay,
For Tarrant Moss holds them in trust,
Until the Judgment Day.

Their soul went from them in their youth,
Would to God, that mine had gone,
Whenas I leaned on my love's truth
And not on my sword alone!

Whenas I leaned on lad's belief
And not on my naked blade--
I slew a thief, and an honest thief,
For the sake of a worthless maid.

They have laid the Reiver low in his place,
They have set me up on high,
But the twenty knights in the peat-water
Are luckier than I!

And ever they give me gold and praise
And ever I mourn my loss--
That I struck the blow for my false love's sake
And not for the Men of the Moss!
Not for the Men of the Moss.

by Rudyard Kipling
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Song of the Red War-Boat

Shove off from the wharf-edge! Steady!
Watch for a smooth! Give way!
If she feels the lop already
She'll stand on her head in the bay.
It's ebb--it's dusk--it's blowing--
The shoals are a mile of white,
But (snatch her along!) we're going
To find our master to-night.

For we hold that in all disaster
Of shipwreck, storm, or sword,
A Man must stand by his Master
When once he has pledged his word.

Raging seas we've rowed in
But we've seldom saw them thus,
Our master is angry with Odin--
And Odin is angry with us!
Heavy odds have we taken,
But never before such odds.
The gods know they are forsaken.
We're risking the wrath of the gods!

Over the crest she flies from,
Into its hollow she drops,
Cringes and clears her eyes from
The wind-torn breaker-tops,
Ere out on the shrieking shoulder
Of a mile-high surge she drives.
Meet her! Meet her and hold her!
Pull for your scoundrel lives!

The thunders bellow and clamor
The harm that they mean to do!
There goes Thor's own Hammer
Cracking the dark in two!
Close! But the blow has missed her,
Here comes the wind of the blow!
Row or the squall will twist her
Broadside on to it!--Row! Row!

Hark ye, Thor of the Thunder!
We are not here for a jest--
For wager, for warfare, or plunder,
Or to put your power to test.
This work is none of our wishing--
We'd house at home if we might--
But our master is wrecked out fishing.
And we go to find him to-night.

For we hold that in all disaster--
As the Gods Themselves have said--
A Man must stand by his Master
Till one or the other is dead.

Now that's our way of thinking,
Now you can do as you will,
While we try to save her from sinking
And hold her head to it still.
Bail her and keep her moving,
Or she'll break her back in the trough.
Who said the weather's improving,
Or the swells are taking off?

Sodden, and chafed and aching,
Gone in the loins and knees--
No matter--the day is breaking,
And there's far less weight to the seas!
Up mast, and finish bailing--
In oars, and out with mead--
Oh! the rest will be two-reef sailing.
That was a night indeed!

But we hold that in all disaster
(And faith, we have found it true!)
That if only you stand by your Master,
Then the gods will stand by you!

By Rudyard Kipling

http://youtu.be/rDc1RHLpeS4

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Cold Iron

Gold is for the mistress -- silver for the maid --
Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade.
"Good!" cried the Baron, sitting in his hall,
"But iron, cold iron, is the master of them all."

So he made rebellion against the King, his liege,
Camped before his citadel and summoned it to siege.
"Nay," said the cannoneer on the castle wall,
"But iron, cold iron, shall be master of you all!"

Woe for the Baron and his knights so strong
When the cruel cannon-balls laid them all along.
He was taken prisoner, he was cast in thrall,
And iron, cold iron, was the master over all.

Yet his King spake kindly (ah how kind a lord!).
"What if I release thee now, and give thee back thy sword?"
"Nay!" said the Baron, "Mock not at my fall,
For iron, cold iron, is the master of men all."

"Tears are for the craven. Prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small,
For iron, cold iron, must be master of men all."

Yet his King made answer (few such Kings there be!).
"Here is bread and here is wine -- Now sit and sup with me.
Eat and drink in Mary's name, while I do recall
How iron, cold iron, can be master of men all!"

He took the wine and blessed it. He blessed and broke the bread.
With his own hands he served them, and presently he said:
"See! These hands they pierced with nails, outside my city wall,
Show iron, cold iron, to be master of men all!"

"Wounds are for the desperate, blows are for the strong,
Balm and oil for weary hearts all cut and bruised with wrong.
I forgive thy treason -- I redeem thy fall --
For iron, cold iron, must be master of men all!"

"Crowns are for the valiant, sceptres for the bold!
Thrones and powers for the mighty men who dare to take and hold!"
"Nay!" said the Baron, kneeling in his hall,
"But iron, cold iron, is the master of men all!"

By Rudyard Kipling

http://youtu.be/X8CkSw4hVog

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The Mine-Sweepers

Dawn off the Foreland—the young flood making
Jumbled and short and steep—
Black in the hollows and bright where it’s breaking—
Awkward water to sweep.
“Mines reported in the fairway,
Warn all traffic and detain.
Sent up Unity, Claribel, Assyrian, Stormcock, and Golden Gain.”

Noon off the Foreland—the first ebb making
Lumpy and strong in the bight.
Boom after boom, and the golf-hut shaking
And the jackdaws wild with fright.
“Mines located in the fairway,
Boats now working up the chain,
Sweepers—Unity, Claribel, Assyrian, Stormcock, and Golden Gain.”

Dusk off the Foreland—the last light going
And the traffic crowding through,
And five damned trawlers with their syreens blowing
Heading the whole review!
“Sweep completed in the fairway.
No more mines remain.
Sent back Unity, Claribel, Assyrian, Stormcock, and Golden Gain.”

By Rudyard Kipling

http://youtu.be/3S4nGzZtA-Y

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
All The World Over

All the world over, nursing their scars,
Sit the old fighting-men broke in the wars--
Sit the old fighting-men, surly and grim
Mocking the lilt of the conquerors' hymn.

Dust of the battle o'erwhelmed them and hid.
Fame never found them for aught that they did.
Wounded and spent to the lazar they drew,
Lining the road where the Legions roll through.

Sons of the Laurel who press to your meed,
Worthy God's pity most--you who succeed!
Ere you go triumphing, crowned, to the stars,
Pity poor fighting-men, broke in the wars!

by Rudyard Kipling
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
“For All We Have and Are”

For all we have and are,
For all our children’s fate,
Stand up and meet the war.
The Hun is at the gate!
Our world has passed away
In wantonness o’erthrown.
There is nothing left to-day
But steel and fire and stone.

Though all we knew depart,
The old commandments stand:
“In courage keep your heart,
In strength lift up your hand.”

Once more we hear the word
That sickened earth of old:
“No law except the sword
Unsheathed and uncontrolled,”
Once more it knits mankind,
Once more the nations go
To meet and break and bind
A crazed and driven foe.

Comfort, content, delight—
The ages’ slow-bought gain—
They shrivelled in a night,
Only ourselves remain
To face the naked days
In silent fortitude,
Through perils and dismays
Renewed and re-renewed.

Though all we made depart,
The old commandments stand:
“In patience keep your heart,
In strength lift up your hand.”

No easy hopes or lies
Shall bring us to our goal,
But iron sacrifice
Of body, will, and soul
There is but one task for all—
For each one life to give.
Who stands if freedom fall?
Who dies if England live?

By Rudyard Kipling
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The Ballad of East and West

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face,
tho' they come from the ends of the earth!

Kamal is out with twenty men to raise the Border-side,
And he has lifted the Colonel's mare that is the Colonel's pride:
He has lifted her out of the stable-door between the dawn and the day,
And turned the calkins upon her feet, and ridden her far away.
Then up and spoke the Colonel's son that led a troop of the Guides:
"Is there never a man of all my men can say where Kamal hides?"

Then up and spoke Mahommed Khan, the son of the Ressaldar:
"If ye know the track of the morning-mist, ye know where his pickets are.
At dusk he harries the Abazai -- at dawn he is into Bonair,
But he must go by Fort Bukloh to his own place to fare,
So if ye gallop to Fort Bukloh as fast as a bird can fly,
By the favour of God ye may cut him off ere he win to the Tongue of Jagai.
But if he be past the Tongue of Jagai, right swiftly turn ye then,
For the length and the breadth of that grisly plain is sown with Kamal's men.
There is rock to the left, and rock to the right, and low lean thorn between,
And ye may hear a breech-bolt snick where never a man is seen."

The Colonel's son has taken a horse... )
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Harp Song of the Dane Women

What is a woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
To go with the old grey Widow-maker?

She has no house to lay a guest in—
But one chill bed for all to rest in,
That the pale suns and the stray bergs nest in.

She has no strong white arms to fold you,
But the ten-times-fingering weed to hold you—
Out on the rocks where the tide has rolled you.

Yet, when the signs of summer thicken,
And the ice breaks, and the birch-buds quicken,
Yearly you turn from our side, and sicken—

Sicken again for the shouts and the slaughters.
You steal away to the lapping waters,
And look at your ship in her winter-quarters.

You forget our mirth, and talk at the tables,
The kine in the shed and the horse in the stables—
To pitch her sides and go over her cables.

Then you drive out where the storm-clouds swallow,
And the sound of your oar-blades, falling hollow,
Is all we have left through the months to follow.

Ah, what is Woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
To go with the old grey Widow-maker?

By Rudyard Kipling

http://youtu.be/2lHSZMySzXM

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
A Song To Mithras
(Hymn of the 30th Legion: _circa_ A.D. 350.)

Mithras, God of the Morning, our trumpets waken the Wall!
'Rome is above the Nations, but Thou art over all!'
Now as the names are answered and the guards are marched away,
Mithras, also a soldier, give us strength for the day!

Mithras, God of the Noontide, the heather swims in the heat.
Our helmets scorch our foreheads, our sandals burn our feet.
Now in the ungirt hour--now ere we blink and drowse,
Mithras, also a soldier, keep us true to our vows!

Mithras, God of the Sunset, low on the Western main--
Thou descending immortal, immortal to rise again!
Now when the watch is ended, now when the wine is drawn,
Mithras, also a soldier, keep us pure till the dawn!

Mithras, God of the Midnight, here where the great bull dies,
Look on thy children in darkness. Oh take our sacrifice!
Many roads thou hast fashioned--all of them lead to the Light:
Mithras, also a soldier, teach us to die aright!

By Rudyard Kipling

http://youtu.be/F4w5WMeTgok

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
A Pict Song

Rome never looks where she treads.
Always her heavy hooves fall
On our stomachs, our hearts or our heads;
And Rome never heeds when we bawl.
Her sentries pass on -- that is all,
And we gather behind them in hordes,
And plot to reconquer the Wall,
With only our tongues for our swords.

We are the Little Folk -- we!
Too little to love or to hate.
Leave us alone and you'll see
How we can drag down the State!
We are the worm in the wood!
We are the rot at the root!
We are the taint in the blood!
We are the thorn in the foot!

Mistletoe killing an oak --
Rats gnawing cables in two --
Moths making holes in a cloak --
How they must love what they do!
Yes -- and we Little Folk too,
We are busy as they --
Working our works out of view --
Watch, and you'll see it some day!

No indeed! We are not strong,
But we know Peoples that are.
Yes, and we'll guide them along
To smash and destroy you in War!
We shall be slaves just the same?
Yes, we have always been slaves,
But you -- you will die of the shame,
And then we shall dance on your graves!

We are the Little Folk -- we!
Too little to love or to hate.
Leave us alone and you'll see
How we can drag down the State!
We are the worm in the wood!
We are the rot at the root!
We are the taint in the blood!
We are the thorn in the foot!

by Rudyard Kipling


http://youtu.be/5gADbyXJy1M

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The Trade

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.
Sometimes they stalk the Zeppelin
Sometimes they learn where mines are laid
Or where the Baltic ice is thin.
That is the custom of “The Trade”.

Few prize-courts sit upon their claims.
They seldom tow their targets in.
They follow certain secret aims
Down under, far from strife or din.
When they are ready to begin,
No flag is flown, no fuss is made
More than the shearing of a pin.
That is the custom of “The Trade”.

The scout`s quadruple funnel flames
A mark from Sweden to the Swin
The cruiser´s thund`rous screw proclaims
Her comings out and goings in:
But only whiffs of paraffin
Or creamy rings that fizz and fade
Show where the one-eyed death has been.
That is the custom of “The Trade”.

Their feats, their fortunes and their fames
Are hidden from their nearest kin.
No eager public backs or blames
No journal prints the yarn they spin
(the censor would not let it in!)
When they return from run or raid
Unheard they work, unseen they win.
That is the custom of “The Trade”.

by Rudyard Kipling

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
'The Question'

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?

by Rudyard Kipling (1916)

http://youtu.be/o1K5JdDWsEs

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