Rudyard Kipling (30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)
Late Came the God
Late came the God, having sent his forerunners who were
Late, but in wrath;
Saying: "The wrong shall be paid, the contempt be rewarded
On all that she hath."
He poisoned the blade and struck home, the full bosom receiving
The wound and the venom in one, past cure or relieving.
He made treaty with Time to stand still that the grief might
Daily renewed and nightly pursued through her soul to her
Mornings of memory, noontides of agony, midnights unslaked
Till the stones of the streets of her Hells and her Paradise ached
So she lived while her body corrupted upon her.
And she called on the Night for a sign, and a Sign was allowed,
And she builded an Altar and served by the light of her Vision--
Alone, without hope of regard or reward, but uncowed,
Resolute, selfless, divine.
These things she did in Love's honour...
What is a God beside Woman? Dust and derision!
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