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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

Jane's Marriage

"The Janeites"
Jane went to Paradise:
  That was only fair.
Good Sir Walter followed her,
  And armed her up the stair.
Henry and Tobias,
  And Miguel of Spain,
Stood with Shakespeare at the top
  To welcome Jane--

Then the Three Archangels
  Offered out of hand
Anything in Heaven's gift
  That she might command.
Azrael's eyes upon her,
  Raphael's wings above,
Michael's sword against her heart,
  Jane said: "Love."

Instantly the under-
  Standing Seraphim
Laid their fingers on their lips
  And went to look for him.
Stole across the Zodiac,
     Harnessed Charles's Wain,
  And whispered round the Nebulae
     "Who loved Jane?"

In a private limbo
  Where none had thought to look,
Sat a Hampshire gentleman 
  Reading of a book.
It was called Persuasion
  And it told the plain
Story of the love between
  Him and Jane.

He heard the question,
  Circle Heaven through--
Closed the book and answered:
  "I did -- and do!"
Quietly but speedily
  (As Captain Wentworth moved)
Entered into Paradise
  The man Jane loved!

Jane lies in Winchester, blessed be her shade!
Praise the Lord for making her, and her for all she made.
And while the stones of Winchester--or Milson Street--remain,
Glory, Love, and Honour unto England's Jane!

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