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Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

The Necessitarian


I know not in Whose hands are laid
To empty upon earth
From unsuspected ambuscade
The very Urns of Mirth;

Who bids the Heavenly Lark arise
And cheer our solemn round--
The Jest beheld with streaming eyes
And grovellings on the ground;

Who joins the flats of Time and Chance
Behind the prey preferred,
And thrones on Shrieking Circumstance
The Sacredly Absurd,

Till Laughter, voiceless through excess,
Waves mute appeal and sore,
Above the midriff's deep distress,
For breath to laugh once more.

No creed hath dared to hail Him Lord,
No raptured choirs proclaim,
And Nature's strenuous Overword
Hath nowhere breathed His Name.

Yet, it must be, on wayside jape,
The selfsame Power bestows
The selfsame power as went to shape
His Planet or His Rose.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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