A Legend Of Truth Poem by Rudyard Kipling

A Legend Of Truth

Rating: 2.9


Once on a time, the ancient legends tell,
Truth, rising from the bottom of her well,
Looked on the world, but, hearing how it lied,
Returned to her seclusion horrified.
There she abode, so conscious of her worth,
Not even Pilate's Question called her forth,
Nor Galileo, kneeling to deny
The Laws that hold our Planet 'neath the sky.
Meantime, her kindlier sister, whom men call
Fiction, did all her work and more than all,
With so much zeal, devotion, tact, and care,
That no one noticed Truth was otherwhere.

Then came a War when, bombed and gassed and mined,
Truth rose once more, perforce, to meet mankind,
And through the dust and glare and wreck of things,
Beheld a phantom on unbalanced wings,
Reeling and groping, dazed, dishevelled, dumb,
But semaphoring direr deeds to come.

Truth hailed and bade her stand; the quavering shade
Clung to her knees and babbled, "Sister, aid!
I am--I was--thy Deputy, and men
Besought me for my useful tongue or pen
To gloss their gentle deeds, and I complied,
And they, and thy demands, were satisfied.
But this--" she pointed o'er the blistered plain,
Where men as Gods and devils wrought amain--
"This is beyond me! Take thy work again."

Tablets and pen transferred, she fled afar,
And Truth assumed the record of the War...
She saw, she heard, she read, she tried to tell
Facts beyond precedent and parallel--
Unfit to hint or breathe, much less to write,
But happening every minute, day and night.
She called for proof. It came. The dossiers grew.
She marked them, first, "Return. This can't be true."
Then, underneath the cold official word:
"This is not really half of what occurred."

She faced herself at last, the story runs,
And telegraphed her sister: "Come at once.
Facts out of hand. Unable overtake
Without your aid. Come back for Truth's own sake!
Co-equal rank and powers if you agree.
They need us both, but you far more than me!"

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Joseph Poewhit 25 November 2008

War and truth - Like my auto-bio on Viet Nam. Lusts of cause, usually have a shadow of gold following it in wars. Kipling understood war and the realities of life

4 2 Reply
Gurrehmat 23 October 2018

Very bad Hate it

2 0 Reply
gilbert 30 November 2020

ok but like when?

0 0 Reply
Brian Jani 28 April 2014

You surely know how to wrote, I like each and every poem of yours

1 0 Reply
Ayush Anand sharma 29 September 2020

A fantastic poem by Rudyard Kipling

0 0 Reply
Osman 14 December 2020

Perfecto ulan !

0 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 14 December 2020

Unable overtake Without your aid. Come back for Truth's own sake! ~ excellent the line is

0 0 Reply
Khairul Ahsan 14 December 2020

'Unfit to hint or breathe, much less to write, But happening every minute, day and night.' - Things have not changed since that time. We face the same situation here, now as well. A good selection for 'The Classic Poem of the Day'.

0 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 14 December 2020

Meantime, her kindlier sister, whom men call Fiction, did all her work and more than all, With so much zeal, devotion, tact, and care, That no one noticed Truth was otherwhere. this is a great poem KIpling.

0 0 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 14 December 2020

Zeal! ! Devotion, Legends! Questions and answers. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

0 0 Reply
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