Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

The King and the Sea


After His Realms and States were moved
To bare their hearts to the King they loved,
Tendering themselves in homage and devotion,
The Tide Wave up the Channel spoke
To all those eager, exultant folk:-
'Hear now what Man was given you by the Ocean!

'There was no thought of Orb or Crown
When the single wooden chest went down
To the steering-flat, and the careless Gunroom haled him
To learn by ancient and bitter use,
How neither Favour nor Excuse,
Nor aught save his sheer self henceforth availed him.

'There was no talk of birth or rank
By the slung hammock or scrubbed plank
In the steel-grated prisons where 1 cast him;
But niggard hours and a narrow space
For rest-and the naked light on his face-
While the ship's traffic flowed, unceasing, past him.

'Thus I schooled him to go and come-
To speak at the word-at a sign be dumb;
To stand to his task, not seeking others to aid him;
To share in honour what praise might fall
For the task accomplished, and-over all-
To swallow rebuke in silence. Thus I made him.

'I loosened every mood of the deep
On him, a child and sick for sleep,
Through the long watches that no time can measure,
When I drove him, deafened and choked and blind,
At the wave-tops cut and spun by the wind;
Lashing him, face and eyes, with my displeasure.

'I opened him all the guile of the seas-
Their sullen, swift-sprung treacheries,
To be fought, or forestalled, or dared, or dismissed with laughter.
I showed him Worth by Folly concealed,
And the flaw in the soul that a chance revealed
(Lessons remembered-to bear fruit thereafter).
'I dealt him Power beneath his hand,
For trial and proof, with his first Command-
Himself alone, and no man to gainsay him.
On him the End, the Means, and the Word,
And the harsher judgment if he erred,
And-outboard-Ocean waiting to betray him.

'Wherefore, when he came to be crowned,
Strength in Duty held him bound,
So that not Power misled nor ease ensnared him
Who had spared himself no more than his seas had spared him!'

After His Lieges, in all His Lands,
Had laid their hands between His hands,
And His ships thundered service and devotion,
The Tide Wave, ranging the Planet, spoke
On all Our foreshores as it broke:-
'Know now what Man 1 gave you-I, the Ocean!'

Submitted: Monday, March 29, 2010

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

Form:


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 (The King and the Sea by Rudyard Kipling )

There is no comment submitted by members..

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. If, Rudyard Kipling
  7. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  9. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  10. A Poison Tree, William Blake
[Hata Bildir]