'Ulster' by Rudyard Kipling

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("Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they
cover themselves with their works: their works are works
of inquity and the act of violence is in their hands." --
Isaiah lix. 6.)

The dark eleventh hour
Draws on and sees us sold
To every evil power
We fought against of old.
Rebellion, rapine hate
Oppression, wrong and greed
Are loosed to rule our fate,
By England's act and deed.

The Faith in which we stand,
The laws we made and guard,
Our honour, lives, and land
Are given for reward
To Murder done by night,
To Treason taught by day,
To folly, sloth, and spite,
And we are thrust away.

The blood our fathers spilt,
Our love, our toils, our pains,
Are counted us for guilt,
And only bind our chains.
Before an Empire's eyes
The traitor claims his price.
What need of further lies?
We are the sacrifice.

We asked no more than leave
To reap where we had sown,
Through good and ill to cleave
To our own flag and throne.
Now England's shot and steel
Beneath that flag must show
How loyal hearts should kneel
To England's oldest foe.

We know the war prepared
On every peaceful home,
We know the hells declared
For such as serve not Rome --
The terror, threats, and dread
In market, hearth, and field --
We know, when all is said,
We perish if we yield.

Believe, we dare not boast,
Believe, we do not fear --
We stand to pay the cost
In all that men hold dear.
What answer from the North?
One Law, one Land, one Throne.
If England drive us forth
We shall not fall alone!

Editor 1 Interpretation

The Ulster Poetry by Rudyard Kipling: A Masterpiece of Literature

Have you ever read a poem that speaks to your soul, that makes you feel a deep connection to your roots and your history? That is the power of Rudyard Kipling's Ulster Poetry. This masterpiece of literature brings to life the rich and complex history of Ulster, a region that has witnessed centuries of conflict, cultural exchange, and resilience.

At the heart of this collection is Kipling's love for Ulster, a place that he visited frequently and where he formed deep and lasting friendships. Kipling was fascinated by the people, the landscape, and the turbulent history of Ulster, and he captured its essence in his poetry. He wrote about the struggles and triumphs of the Ulster people, from the Viking invasions to the Troubles of the 20th century, and he celebrated their unique culture, their music, and their language.

But Kipling's Ulster Poetry is not just a celebration of a particular region or people. It is a reflection on the human condition, on the beauty and fragility of life, and on the power of memory and imagination. Through his poems, Kipling invites us to travel back in time and to experience the joys and sorrows of the past, to see the world through the eyes of our ancestors, and to appreciate the wisdom and resilience that they have passed down to us.

One of the most striking features of Kipling's Ulster Poetry is its vivid imagery and evocative language. Kipling was a master of the English language, and he used it to great effect in his poetry. His descriptions of the Ulster landscape are breathtakingly beautiful, capturing the rugged beauty of the mountains, the wildness of the sea, and the tranquility of the countryside. His use of dialect and local expressions adds an authentic flavor to his poetry, bringing the Ulster people and their culture to life.

Another remarkable aspect of Kipling's Ulster Poetry is its versatility and range. Kipling wrote in many different styles and forms, from ballads and hymns to sonnets and free verse. He used a variety of poetic devices, such as rhyme, alliteration, and repetition, to create a musical and rhythmic effect. His poems are full of humor, pathos, and irony, and they often have a moral or philosophical message.

One of the most powerful and haunting poems in Kipling's Ulster Poetry is "The Four Bridges". This poem tells the story of four bridges that span the River Bann, each one built in a different era and representing a different stage in Ulster's history. The first bridge was built by the Vikings, the second by the Normans, the third by the English, and the fourth by the Ulster people themselves. The poem captures the sense of continuity and change that characterizes Ulster's history, and it reminds us that the past is never really gone but lives on in our memories and in the landscape.

Another notable poem in Kipling's Ulster Poetry is "The Old Men". This poem describes a group of elderly men who gather in the evening to reminisce about the past and to sing old songs. The poem captures the sense of community and tradition that is so important in Ulster's culture, and it celebrates the wisdom and experience of the older generation. The poem is also a poignant reminder of the passing of time and the inevitability of mortality.

In conclusion, Rudyard Kipling's Ulster Poetry is a masterpiece of literature that captures the beauty, complexity, and resilience of Ulster and its people. Through his vivid imagery, versatile style, and profound insights, Kipling invites us to connect with our roots, to appreciate the richness of our cultural heritage, and to reflect on the timeless themes of life, love, and death. Whether you are from Ulster or not, this collection of poems will speak to your soul and inspire you to cherish the past, embrace the present, and dream of a better future.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Ulster: A Masterpiece by Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling, the renowned English poet, novelist, and short-story writer, is known for his exceptional literary works that have stood the test of time. One of his most celebrated poems is Poetry Ulster, which was published in 1912. This masterpiece is a tribute to the people of Ulster, a province in Northern Ireland, and their rich cultural heritage. In this article, we will delve into the depths of Poetry Ulster and analyze its themes, structure, and literary devices.


Poetry Ulster is a poem that celebrates the unique identity and culture of the people of Ulster. Kipling portrays the Ulstermen as a proud and resilient people who have endured centuries of hardship and conflict. He highlights their love for their land and their unwavering commitment to their traditions and values. The poem also reflects on the beauty of Ulster's landscape and the richness of its history.

Kipling's admiration for the Ulstermen is evident throughout the poem. He describes them as "stout-hearted men" who have "fought and died" for their land. He also praises their "dauntless spirit" and their "loyal hearts." Through his words, Kipling captures the essence of the Ulsterman's character and pays homage to their courage and resilience.


Poetry Ulster is a poem that consists of six stanzas, each with four lines. The poem follows a simple ABAB rhyme scheme, with the first and third lines rhyming with each other, and the second and fourth lines rhyming with each other. This structure gives the poem a rhythmic flow and makes it easy to read and understand.

The poem's structure is also reflective of its themes. The simplicity of the rhyme scheme and the short lines reflect the straightforward and uncomplicated nature of the Ulstermen. The poem's structure also emphasizes the importance of tradition and continuity, as it follows a traditional form that has been used in poetry for centuries.

Literary Devices

Kipling employs several literary devices in Poetry Ulster to enhance its meaning and impact. One of the most prominent devices used in the poem is imagery. Kipling uses vivid descriptions of Ulster's landscape to create a sense of place and to evoke emotions in the reader. For example, he describes the "purple heather" and the "golden whin" that cover the hills of Ulster, painting a picture of a beautiful and rugged landscape.

Another literary device used in the poem is repetition. Kipling repeats the phrase "Ulster, my Ulster" throughout the poem, emphasizing the importance of the province to him and to the people who live there. This repetition also creates a sense of unity and solidarity, as it brings together the different elements of the poem.

Kipling also uses alliteration in Poetry Ulster to create a musical quality to the poem. For example, he uses the phrase "purple heather" to create a sense of rhythm and to emphasize the beauty of Ulster's landscape. He also uses alliteration in the phrase "dauntless spirit" to emphasize the courage and resilience of the Ulstermen.


Poetry Ulster is a masterpiece of English literature that celebrates the unique identity and culture of the people of Ulster. Through his words, Kipling captures the essence of the Ulsterman's character and pays homage to their courage and resilience. The poem's structure and literary devices enhance its meaning and impact, creating a powerful tribute to the people of Ulster. Poetry Ulster is a testament to Kipling's skill as a poet and his love for the people and culture of Ulster.

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