Treasure Island

Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

The Sons of Martha


The Sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited that good part;
But the Sons of Martha favour their Mother of the careful soul and the troubled heart.
And because she lost her temper once, and because she was rude to the Lord her Guest,
Her Sons must wait upon Mary's Sons, world without end, reprieve, or rest.

It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and cushion the shock.
It is their care that the gear engages; it is their care that the switches lock.
It is their care that the wheels run truly; it is their care to embark and entrain,
Tally, transport, and deliver duly the Sons of Mary by land and main.

They say to mountains ``Be ye removèd.'' They say to the lesser floods ``Be dry.''
Under their rods are the rocks reprovèd---they are not afraid of that which is high.
Then do the hill-tops shake to the summit---then is the bed of the deep laid bare,
That the Sons of Mary may overcome it, pleasantly sleeping and unaware.

They finger Death at their gloves' end where they piece and repiece the living wires.
He rears against the gates they tend: they feed him hungry behind their fires.
Early at dawn, ere men see clear, they stumble into his terrible stall,
And hale him forth like a haltered steer, and goad and turn him till evenfall.

To these from birth is Belief forbidden; from these till death is Relief afar.
They are concerned with matters hidden---under the earthline their altars are---
The secret fountains to follow up, waters withdrawn to restore to the mouth,
And gather the floods as in a cup, and pour them again at a city's drouth.

They do not preach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose.
They do not preach that His Pity allows them to drop their job when they damn-well choose.
As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and the desert they stand,
Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren's ways may be long in the land.

Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path more fair or flat;
Lo, it is black already with the blood some Son of Martha spilled for that!
Not as a ladder from earth to Heaven, not as a witness to any creed,
But simple service simply given to his own kind in their common need.

And the Sons of Mary smile and are blessèd---they know the Angels are on their side.
They know in them is the Grace confessèd, and for them are the Mercies multiplied.
They sit at the feet---they hear the Word---they see how truly the Promise runs.
They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and---the Lord He lays it on Martha's Sons!

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: birth, city, death, son, work, smile, mother, lost, heaven, dark, running, angel, water, sleep

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 Sons of Martha by Rudyard Kipling )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

New Poems

  1. Bottled and Guarded the Overberg Story, Jenny Santiago
  2. हमारा घर हमारा भारत, MIRTUNJAY KUMAR
  3. Lampost, Naveed Khalid
  4. Tablet Of Simurgh, Naveed Khalid
  5. My Chamber of the Great Escape, Jenny Santiago
  6. To The Moon I, Naveed Khalid
  7. Where I want to be, Jenny Santiago
  8. Beehive, Naveed Khalid
  9. Purgatory, Naveed Khalid
  10. I seek, hasmukh amathalal

Poem of the Day

poet Geoffrey Chaucer

The firste stock-father of gentleness,
What man desireth gentle for to be,
Must follow his trace, and all his wittes dress,
Virtue to love, and vices for to flee;
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. If, Rudyard Kipling
  6. Trees, Joyce Kilmer
  7. After Long Drought, Mark Van Doren
  8. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  9. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  10. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]