Rudyard Kipling


If any God should say, "I will restore The world her yesterday Whole as before My Judgment blasted it"--who would not lift Heart, eye, and hand in passion o'er the gift? If any God should will To wipe from mind The memory of this ill Which is Mankind In soul and substance now--who would not bless Even to tears His loving-tenderness? If any God should give Us leave to fly These present deaths we live, And safely die In those lost lives we lived ere we were born-- What man but would not laugh the excuse to scorn? For we are what we are-- So broke to blood And the strict works of war-- So long subdued To sacrifice, that threadbare Death commands Hardly observance at our busier hands. Yet we were what we were, And, fashioned so, It pleases us to stare At the far show Of unbelievable years and shapes that flit, In our own likeness, on the edge of it.

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