'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

14 April 2013

Sunday Kipling

The political class totters on, never understanding the depth of their ignorance. They fear the wrong things. A lost election. An unkind word issued by those who will always despise them. An unjust epithet. They betray those who put them forth to protect their rights and call it compromise. As if treachery could be contained by such a word. Our memories are long and in this climate forgiveness hard given. I have no sympathy for my enemies only contempt. We choose and we accept. That is what it means to be free. Coercion and the long, slow erosion of natural rights are tools of oppression. Righteous anger is the answer. They fear the wrong things indeed.
Six

An American

1894

The American Spirit speaks:
 
If the Led Striker call it a strike,
  Or the papers call it a war,
They know not much what I am like,
  Nor what he is, My Avatar.

Through many roads, by me possessed,
  He shambles forth in cosmic guise;
He is the Jester and the Jest,
  And he the Text himself applies.

The Celt is in his heart and hand,
  The Gaul is in his brain and nerve;
Where, cosmopolitanly planned,
  He guards the Redskin's dry reserve

His easy unswept hearth he lends
  From Labrador to Guadeloupe;
Till, elbowed out by sloven friends,
  He camps, at sufferance, on the stoop.

Calm-eyed he scoffs at Sword and Crown,
  Or, panic-blinded, stabs and slays:
Blatant he bids the world bow down,
  Or cringing begs a crust of praise;

Or, sombre-drunk, at mine and mart,
  He dubs his dreary brethren Kings.
His hands are black with blood -- his heart
  Leaps, as a babe's, at little things.

But, through the shift of mood and mood,
  Mine ancient humour saves him whole 
The cynic devil in his blood
  That bids him mock his hurrying soul;

That bids him flout the Law he makes,
  That bids him make the Law he flouts,
Till, dazed by many doubts, he wakes
  The drumming guns that -- have no doubts;

That checks him foolish-hot and fond,
  That chuckles through his deepest ire,
That gilds the slough of his despond
  But dims the goal of his desire;

Inopportune, shrill-accented,
  The acrid Asiatic mirth
That leaves him, careless 'mid his dead,
  The scandal of the elder earth.

How shall he clear himself, how reach
  Your bar or weighed defence prefer 
A brother hedged with alien speech
  And lacking all interpreter?

Which knowledge vexes him a space;
  But, while Reproof around him rings,
He turns a keen untroubled face
  Home, to the instant need of things.

Enslaved, illogical, elate,
  He greets the embarrassed Gods, nor fears
To shake the iron hand of Fate
  Or match with Destiny for beers.

Lo, imperturbable he rules,
  Unkempt, desreputable, vast 
And, in the teeth of all the schools,
  I -- I shall save him at the last!

2 comments:

Old NFO said...

Good one! Thanks!!!

Six said...

Thank you NFO!