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  • A Christmas-appropriate Poem from Rudyard Kipling

    Posted by David Foster on December 23rd, 2014 (All posts by )

    (may not seem like a Christmas-appropriate post based on the first 2 stanzas, but read on…)

    “Gold is for the mistress — silver for the maid —
    Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade.”

    “Good!” said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
    “But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of them all.”

    So he made rebellion ‘gainst the King his liege,
    Camped before his citadel and summoned it to siege.
    “Nay!” said the cannoneer on the castle wall,
    “But Iron — Cold Iron — shall be master of you all!”

     

    Woe for the Baron and his knights so strong,
    When the cruel cannon-balls laid ’em all along;
    He was taken prisoner, he was cast in thrall,
    And Iron — Cold Iron — was master of it all!

    Yet his King spake kindly (ah, how kind a Lord!)
    “What if I release thee now and give thee back thy sword?”
    “Nay!” said the Baron, “mock not at my fall,
    For Iron — Cold Iron — is master of men all.”

    “Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown —
    Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.”

    “As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small,
    For Iron — Cold Iron — must be master of men all!”

    Yet his King made answer (few such Kings there be!)
    “Here is Bread and here is Wine — sit and sup with me.
    Eat and drink in Mary’s Name, the whiles I do recall
    How Iron — Cold Iron — can be master of men all!”

    He took the Wine and blessed it. He blessed and brake the Bread.
    With His own Hands He served Them, and presently He said:
    “See! These Hands they pierced with nails, outside My city wall,
    Show Iron — Cold Iron — to be master of men all.”

    “Wounds are for the desperate, blows are for the strong.
    Balm and oil for weary hearts all cut and bruised with wrong.
    I forgive thy treason — I redeem thy fall —
    For Iron — Cold Iron — must be master of men all!”

    “Crowns are for the valiant — sceptres for the bold!
    Thrones and powers for mighty men who dare to take and hold!”

    “Nay!” said the Baron, kneeling in his hall,
    “But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of men all!
    Iron out of Calvary is master of men all!”

     

    12 Responses to “A Christmas-appropriate Poem from Rudyard Kipling”

    1. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      A little Christmas nostalgia:
      https://www.youtube.com/user/XmasFLIX/featured

    2. RonaldF Says:

      I assume Kipling is banned from all high-schools now, and most colleges. I am finally reaping the rewards of books I’ve given to nephews, nieces, and neighbors. Books that were not much appreciated at the time, but now have given them the knowledge to stand up to PC bullies and thugs at college. How proud I am to hear of their stories of walking out on classes of “White Privilege”. These kids of ours should be given a lot of credit for putting up with the nonsensical education system we created. They will change things for the better. Merry Christmas indeed.

    3. Sgt. Mom Says:

      In my personal pagan pantheon, Kipling is a major deity. I can only hope that being officially forbidden by the ‘great and the good’ (yes, those are skeptical and sarcastic quotes) he might thereby attract the interest of the rebellious and independent-minded.

    4. vxxc2014 Says:

      Merry Christmas!

      Ronald God Blest you and your family.

      WALK OUT. We all should.

      The Progs are all bluff, and cowards in person.

    5. Mike K Says:

      Merry Christmas and some music that gives me hope.

      I think it is important to give kids the tools to see through the mush they get in school. Some of those were Christma presents to my grandchildren this morning.

    6. David Foster Says:

      A great flashmob performance here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbJcQYVtZMo

    7. Tyouth Says:

      A joy to watch David, thanks for the link.

    8. Mike K Says:

      Beethoven seems very appropriate for Christmas.

    9. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >>I assume Kipling is banned from all high-schools now…

      I used to work with a Brit ex-pat. I asked once whether she’d ever read Baa Baa, Blacksheep. She looked absolutely offended before indignantly declaring, “I don’t read Kipling!”

      She was very nice and I’d been to her house for Christmas parties and what-not, so I was a bit stunned at her response. I’d clearly stepped on a cultural landmine there. The Empire shall not be discussed!

    10. David Foster Says:

      Orwell on Kipling:

      http://gaslight.mtroyal.ca/Orwell-B.htm

    11. RonaldF Says:

      David – Is there a link to the infamous Richard Burton scene of 5 lights. I saw them myself and now find myself in a world who will see anything the government asks. We get what we want and only truth dies out.

    12. Tyouth Says:

      Re. (David’s link, provided above) Orwell on Kipling:

      Orwell praises Kipling with faint damnation while giving us (some 60 years later) context and reminding us that if things don’t remain the same they remain similar.