Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

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.]


Some die shouting in gas or fire;
Some die silent, by shell and shot.
Some die desperate, caught on the wire -
Some die suddenly. This will not.

"Regis suprema voluntas Lex"
[It will follow the regular course of--throats.]
Some die pinned by the broken decks,
Some die sobbing between the boats.

Some die eloquent, pressed to death
By the sliding trench as their friends can hear
Some die wholly in half a breath.
Some--give trouble for half a year.

"There is neither Evil nor Good in life
Except as the needs of the State ordain."
[Since it is rather too late for the knife,
All we can do is to mask the pain.]

Some die saintly in faith and hope--
One died thus in a prison-yard--
Some die broken by rape or the rope;
Some die easily. This dies hard.

"I will dash to pieces who bar my way.
Woe to the traitor! Woe to the weak! "
[Let him write what he wishes to say.
It tires him out if he tries to speak.]

Some die quietly. Some abound
In loud self-pity. Others spread
Bad morale through the cots around .
This is a type that is better dead.

"The war was forced on me by my foes.
All that I sought was the right to live."
[Don't be afraid of a triple dose;
The pain will neutralize all we give.

Here are the needles. See that he dies
While the effects of the drug endure. . . .
What is the question he asks with his eyes?--
Yes, All-Highest, to God, be sure.]

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
3 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: rape, pain, evil, faith, war, fire, death, hope, alone, friend

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Death-Bed by Rudyard Kipling )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  7. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  8. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
  9. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  10. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe

Poem of the Day

poet Richard Lovelace

Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. It isn't easy!, Lubinda Lubinda
  2. I Am Third, Perry Biggerstaff
  3. The Nigeria Political Vampires, Chinweokwu Sunlight M. Ndubu ..
  4. Alack! Afore! Alack! Afore!, Dexsta Ray
  5. WAR modern art-form of meaninglessness, George Dee Vuy
  6. I let myself, Elena Ioannou
  7. Love Is Hard, Is It Poetry
  8. Broken Waves, Pintu Mahakul
  9. PH: Poetry Writing: In Poetry, Brian Johnston
  10. Moving Out, Adriana Avila
[Hata Bildir]