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Things and the Man Analysis



Author: Poetry of Rudyard Kipling Type: Poetry Views: 371

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(In Memoriam, Joseph Chamberlain)



1904



"And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren and they hated him yet the more." -- Genesis xxxvii. 5.



Oh ye who hold the written clue

To all save all unwritten things,

And, half a league behind, pursue

The accomplished Fact with flouts and flings,

Look! To your knee your baby brings

The oldest tale since Earth began --

The answer to your worryings:

"Once on a time there was a Man."



He, single-handed, met and slew

Magicians, Armies, Ogres, Kings.

He lonely 'mid his doubting crew --

"In all the loneliness of wings " --

He fed the flame, he filled the springs,

He locked the ranks, he launched the van

Straight at the grinning Teeth of Things.

"Once on a time there was a Man."



The peace of shocked Foundations flew

Before his ribald questionings.

He broke the Oracles in two,

And bared the paltry wires and strings.

He headed desert wanderings;

He led his soul, his cause, his clan

A little from the ruck of Things.

"Once on a time there was a Man."



Thrones, Powers, Dominions block the view

With episodes and underlings --

The meek historian deems them true

Nor heeds the song that Clio sings --

The simple central truth that stings

The mob to boo, the priest to ban;

Things never yet created things --

"Once on a time there was a Man."



A bolt is fallen from the blue.

A wakened realm full circle swings

Where Dothan's dreamer dreams anew

Of vast and farborne harvestings;

And unto him an Empire clings

That grips the purpose of his plan.

My Lords, how think you of these things?

Once -- in our time -- is there a Man?





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