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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

The Burial

            1904

(C. F. Rhodes, buried in the Matoppos, April 10, 1902)
When that great Kings return to clay, Or Emperors in their pride, Grief of a day shall fill a day, Because its creature died. But we -- we reckon not with those Whom the mere Fates ordain, This Power that wrought on us and goes Back to the Power again. Dreamer devout, by vision led Beyond our guess or reach, The travail of his spirit bred Cities in place of speech. So huge the all-mastering thought that drove -- So brief the term allowed -- Nations, not words, he linked to prove His faith before the crowd. It is his will that he look forth Across the world he won -- The granite of the ancient North -- Great spaces washed with sun. There shall he patient take his seat (As when the Death he dared), And there await a people's feet In the paths that he prepared. There, till the vision he foresaw Splendid and whole arise, And unimagined Empires draw To council 'neath his skies, The immense and brooding Spirit still Shall quicken and control. Living he was the land, and dead, His soul shall be her soul!

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