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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

Hymn to Physical Pain

"The Tender Achilles"
From "Limits and Renewals" (1932)
Dread Mother of Forgetfulness
  Who, when Thy reign begins,
Wipest away the Soul's distress,
  And memory of her sins.

The trusty Worm that dieth not--
  The steadfast Fire also,
By Thy contrivance are forgot
  In a completer woe.

Thine are the lidless eyes of night
  That stare upon our tears,
Through certain hours which in our sight
  Exceed a thousand years:

Thine is the thickness of the Dark
  That presses in our pain,
As Thine the Dawn that bids us mark
  Life's grinning face again.

Thine is the weariness outworn
  No promise shall relieve,
That says at eve, "Would God 'twere morn"
  At morn, "Would God 'twere eve!"

And when Thy tender mercies cease
  And life unvexed is due,
Instant upon the false release
 The Worm and Fire renew.

Wherefore we praise Thee in the deep,
  And on our beds we pray
For Thy return that Thou may'st keep
  The Pains of Hell at bay!

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