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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

The Four Angels

"With the Night Mail"--Actions and Reactions
As Adam lay a-dreaming beneath the Apple Tree
The Angel of the Earth came down, and offered Earth in fee;
    But Adam did not need it,
    Nor the plough he would not speed it,
 Singing: --"Earth and Water, Air and Fire,
    What more can mortal man desire?"
        (The Apple Tree's in bud)

As Adam lay a-dreaming beneath the Apple Tree
The Angel of the Waters offered all the Seas in fee;
    But Adam would not take 'em,
    Nor the ships he wouldn't make 'em,
 Singing:--"Water, Earth and Air and Fire,
    What more can mortal man desire? "
        (The Apple Tree's in leaf.)

As Adam lay a-dreaming beneath the Apple Tree
The Angel of the Air he offered all the Air in fee;
     But Adam did not crave it,
     Nor the flight he wouldn't brave it,
 Singing: --"Air and Water, Earth and Fire,
     What more can mortal man desire?"
        (The Apple Tree's in bloom.)

As Adam lay a-dreaming beneath the Apple Tree
The Angel of the Fire rose up and not a word said he;
     But he wished a flame and made it,
     And in Adam's heart he laid it,
  Singing: --"Fire, Fire, burning Fire!
     Stand up, and reach your heart's desire!"
        (The Apple Blossom's set.)

As Adam was a-working outside of Eden-Wall,
He used the Earth, he used the Seas, he used the Air and all;
     Till out of black disaster
     He arose to be a master
      Of Earth and Water, Air and Fire,
      But never reached his heart's desire!
        (The Apple Tree's cut down!)

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