Kipling Friday

Posted without any hemming or hawing on my part.

Recessional

God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The Captains and the Kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard,
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word
Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!

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This entry was posted in Kipling.

One comment on “Kipling Friday

  1. Eveningsun says:

    Nice, Andrew. As usual, Kipling is crystal clear: It is only faith in Jesus, and faithfulness TO Jesus, that gives us the right to rule the “lesser breeds.”

    But then, perhaps we have forgotten by now and our empire is destined to go the way of Britain’s. Quite possibly it is already going that way. I would say that what Kipling was warning us against HAS already happened. Look at what Americans typically mean by Kipling’s refrain, “Lest we forget.” The phrase is nowadays taken to mean we should not forget the sacrifices made by our soldiers, or that we should not forget that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, or something similar. These days the phrase is generally NOT taken to mean what Kipling intended, namely, to warn us against hubris, against placing our faith in our own military might rather than God’s providential justice. Too bad, but of course Kipling predicted it would happen to the Brits, and to us too, just as it happened long ago to Nineveh and Tyre.

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