Another Lost Poem of Rudyard Kipling

(Enough of Syria and stupid politicians for a time.  The next post may be a little late since I need to leave town for a while.  Meanwhile, these satirical poems may be lost on those whose mother tongue is not English, but this is one of the things I do.

Recessional is an odd Kipling poem [look it up], musing on the fall of the British Empire at its peak of pomp and power during Queen Victoria’s Diamond jubilee in 1897. This makes it very timely for Americans.)


Lore of our Fathers, known of old-
The nation’s guide through all our time-
The principles by which we hold
Dominion over plain and pine-
Wisdom of old, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!


The firefights and shelling dies-
The Captains and the Spooks depart-
But we return still no more wise,
Still arrogant and cold in heart.
Wisdom of old, be with us yet,
Lest we forget – lest we forget!


Far-called our carriers sail away-
On dune and village falls the fire-
Lo, all our Good of yesterday
Has sunk into the corp’rate mire!
Hand of our enemies, spare us yet,
Lest we forget – lest we forget!


Now drunk with sight of power we loose
Wild blows of death and shock and awe,
Such weapons as aggressors use,
And fascist states without the Law-
Wisdom of old, be with us yet,
Lest we forget – lest we forget!


For brutal heart that buys and tries
The guns and shells and screaming drones –
For damning lies all built on lies,
To claim they serve but hide the bones.
For people killed and missiles hurled,
Your mercy on our nation, world!

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

King Victoria?

King Victoria?

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

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