Learn More

Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

A Servant When He Reigneth


Three things make earth unquiet
And four she cannot brook
The godly Agur counted them
And put them in a book --
Those Four Tremendous Curses
With which mankind is cursed;
But a Servant when He Reigneth
Old Agur entered first.
An Handmaid that is Mistress
We need not call upon.
A Fool when he is full of Meat
Will fall asleep anon.
An Odious Woman Married
May bear a babe and mend;
But a Servant when He Reigneth
Is Confusion to the end.

His feet are swift to tumult,
His hands are slow to toil,
His ears are deaf to reason,
His lips are loud in broil.
He knows no use for power
Except to show his might.
He gives no heed to judgment
Unless it prove him right.

Because he served a master
Before his Kingship came,
And hid in all disaster
Behind his master's name,
So, when his Folly opens
The unnecessary hells,
A Servant when He Reigneth
Throws the blame on some one else.

His vows are lightly spoken,
His faith is hard to bind,
His trust is easy boken,
He fears his fellow-kind.
The nearest mob will move him
To break the pledge he gave --
Oh, a Servant when he Reigneth
Is more than ever slave!

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004
Edited: Friday, December 30, 2011

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

Read poems about / on: trust, faith, woman, power, fear, women

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 Servant When He Reigneth by Rudyard Kipling )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie BEAU GOLDEN (9/27/2007 8:02:00 PM)

    This poem is insightful, so applying it to the ineptness of one administration is folly. They are all inept. The US govt is a big fat pig that will be gutted. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Greg Dent (7/14/2005 8:56:00 PM)

    I read this pearl of wisdom(and prophesy) to my children the day Bill Clinton became President! (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  3. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  6. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  7. A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
  8. I Will Love You Forever, I Love My Wife Forever
  9. '' Death Can't Be Undone '', bri mar
  10. English Words, V. K. Gokak

Poem of the Day

poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. windmill hill, lee fones
  2. I Miss You 2, Michael P. McParland
  3. My Daughter at 14, Christmas Dance, 1981, Maria Mazziotti Gillan
  4. I Miss You, Michael P. McParland
  5. Life in peril, hasmukh amathalal
  6. Christmas Greeting, Clive Blake
  7. Duality!, SALINI NAIR
  8. Christmas Carol, Luo Zhihai
  9. ~Honesty~, E Nigma
  10. The Carwasher, Tony Adah
[Hata Bildir]