Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

A Recantation


1917


What boots it on the Gods to call?
Since, answered or unheard,
We perish with the Gods and all
Things made--except the Word.

Ere certain Fate had touched a heart
By fifty years made cold,
I judged thee, Lyde, and thy art
O'erblown and over-bold.

But he--but he, of whom bereft
I suffer vacant days--
He on his shield not meanly left
He cherished all thy lays.

Witness the magic coffer stocked
With convoluted runes
Wherein thy very voice was locked
And linked to circling tunes.

Witness thy portrait, smoke-defiled,
That decked his shelter-place.
Life seemed more present, wrote the child,
Beneath thy well-known face.

And when the grudging days restored
Him for a breath to home,
He, with fresh crowds of youth, adored
Thee making mirth in Rome.

Therefore, I humble, join the hosts,
Loyal and loud, who bow
To thee as Queen of Song--and ghosts,
For I remember how

Never more rampant rose the Hall
At thy audacious line
Than when the news came in from Gaul
Thy son had--followed mine.

But thou didst hide it in thy breast
And, capering, took the brunt
Of blaze and blare, and launched the jest
That swept next week the front.

Singer to children! Ours possessed
Sleep before noon--but thee,
Wakeful each midnight for the rest,
No holocaust shall free!

Yet they who use the Word assigned,
To hearten and make whole,
Not less than Gods have served mankind,
Though vultures rend their soul.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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

Read poems about / on: holocaust, magic, son, fate, remember, rose, children, child, song, sleep, home

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 Recantation by Rudyard Kipling )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  5. If, Rudyard Kipling
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  9. Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes, Billy Collins
  10. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost

Poem of the Day

poet Alfred Edward Housman

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. Dear Dad ..... [a PARODY; HUMOR; SHORT; .., Bri Edwards
  2. Just Sex..., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  3. It's Not About Science, Just Satellites..., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  4. Woman And Time..., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  5. Firmament, Margaret Ann Newcomb
  6. Petits morceaux, Lubinda Lubinda
  7. For Edgar Allan Poe With All Gratitude..., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  8. It Takes Tears to..., Rodney R. Cooper
  9. It Takes Tears, Rodney R. Cooper
  10. My life, Mario,Lucien,Rene Odekerken
[Hata Bildir]