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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

En-Dor

"Behold there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at En-dor."  I Samuel,
xxviii. 7.


The road to En-dor is easy to tread For Mother or yearning Wife. There, it is sure, we shall meet our Dead As they were even in life. Earth has not dreamed of the blessing in store For desolate hearts on the road to En-dor. Whispers shall comfort us out of the dark-- Hands--ah God!--that we knew! Visions .and voices --look and hark!-- Shall prove that the tale is true, An that those who have passed to the further shore May' be hailed--at a price--on the road to En-dor. But they are so deep in their new eclipse Nothing they say can reach, Unless it be uttered by alien lips And I framed in a stranger's speech. The son must send word to the mother that bore, 'Through an hireling's mouth. 'Tis the rule of En-dor. And not for nothing these gifts are shown By such as delight our dead. They must twitch and stiffen and slaver and groan Ere the eyes are set in the head, And the voice from the belly begins. Therefore, We pay them a wage where they ply at En-dor. Even so, we have need of faith And patience to follow the clue. Often, at first, what the dear one saith Is babble, or jest, or untrue. (Lying spirits perplex us sore Till our loves--and their lives--are well-known at En-dor). . . . Oh the road to En-dor is the oldest road And the craziest road of all! Straight it runs to the Witch's abode, As it did in the days of Saul, And nothing has changed of the sorrow in store For such as go down on the road to En-dor!

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