Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

Gehazi - Poem by Rudyard Kipling

1915


Whence comest thou, Gehazi,
So reverend to behold,
In scarlet and in ermines
And chain of England's gold?"

"From following after Naaman
To tell him all is well,
Whereby my zeal hath made me
A Judge in Israel."

Well done; well done, Gehazi!
Stretch forth thy ready hand,
Thou barely 'scaped from judgment,
Take oath to judge the land
Unswayed by gift of money
Or privy bribe, more base,
Of knowledge which is profit
In any market-place.

Search out and probe, Gehazi,
As thou of all carist try,
The truthful, well-weighed answer
That tells the blacker lie --
The loud, uneasy virtue
The anger feigned at will,
To overbear a witness
And make the Court keep still.

Take order now, Gehazi,
That no man talk aside
In secret with his judges
The while his case is tried.
Lest he should show them -- reason
To keep a matter hid,
And subtly lead the questions
Away from what he did.

Thou mirror of uprightness,
What ails thee at thy vows?
What means the risen whiteness
Of the skin between thy brows?

The boils that shine and burrow,
The sores that slough and bleed --
The leprosy of Naaman
On thee and all thy seed?
Stand up, stand up, Gehazi,
Draw close thy robe and go,
Gehazi, Judge in Israel,
A leper white as snow!


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Read poems about / on: anger, mirror, money, snow, rose



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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