Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

A Legend of Truth


Once on a time, the ancient legends tell,
Truth, rising from the bottom of her well,
Looked on the world, but, hearing how it lied,
Returned to her seclusion horrified.
There she abode, so conscious of her worth,
Not even Pilate's Question called her forth,
Nor Galileo, kneeling to deny
The Laws that hold our Planet 'neath the sky.
Meantime, her kindlier sister, whom men call
Fiction, did all her work and more than all,
With so much zeal, devotion, tact, and care,
That no one noticed Truth was otherwhere.

Then came a War when, bombed and gassed and mined,
Truth rose once more, perforce, to meet mankind,
And through the dust and glare and wreck of things,
Beheld a phantom on unbalanced wings,
Reeling and groping, dazed, dishevelled, dumb,
But semaphoring direr deeds to come.

Truth hailed and bade her stand; the quavering shade
Clung to her knees and babbled, "Sister, aid!
I am--I was--thy Deputy, and men
Besought me for my useful tongue or pen
To gloss their gentle deeds, and I complied,
And they, and thy demands, were satisfied.
But this--" she pointed o'er the blistered plain,
Where men as Gods and devils wrought amain--
"This is beyond me! Take thy work again."

Tablets and pen transferred, she fled afar,
And Truth assumed the record of the War...
She saw, she heard, she read, she tried to tell
Facts beyond precedent and parallel--
Unfit to hint or breathe, much less to write,
But happening every minute, day and night.
She called for proof. It came. The dossiers grew.
She marked them, first, "Return. This can't be true."
Then, underneath the cold official word:
"This is not really half of what occurred."

She faced herself at last, the story runs,
And telegraphed her sister: "Come at once.
Facts out of hand. Unable overtake
Without your aid. Come back for Truth's own sake!
Co-equal rank and powers if you agree.
They need us both, but you far more than me!"

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: sister, truth, war, work, rose, sky, world, night, running

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 Legend of Truth by Rudyard Kipling )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie Joseph Poewhit (11/25/2008 12:32:00 AM)

    War and truth - Like my auto-bio on Viet Nam. Lusts of cause, usually have a shadow of gold following it in wars. Kipling understood war and the realities of life (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

New Poems

  1. The Mirror, RAJ VIKRAM
  2. A reverie, RAJ VIKRAM
  3. Like Arrows In Quivers, Saiom Shriver
  4. The Monster, crystal ruth
  5. A.Blok, You are - the wild call.. - tran.., Lyudmila Purgina
  6. A.Blok, As day so light... - translation.., Lyudmila Purgina
  7. A.Blok, The Petersburg twilights..- tran.., Lyudmila Purgina
  8. quotation # 4, saint cynosure ( Ken Bennigh ..
  9. Thanks For What?, Liliana EL.
  10. Rosy Wind, Casey Jarrell

Poem of the Day

poet Joseph Addison

Salve magna parens frugum Saturnia tellus,
Magna virûm! tibi res antiquæ laudis et artis
Aggredior, sanctos ausus recludere fontes.
Virg. Geor. 2.

...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. If, Rudyard Kipling
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  5. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  6. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. A Thing of Beauty (Endymion), John Keats
  8. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  9. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  10. All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]