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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

RUDYARD KIPLING: Memories

Memories

1930

"The eradication of memories of the Great War. -SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT ORGAN

The Socialist Government speaks:
THOUGH all the Dead were all forgot 
        And razed were every tomb,
The Worm-the Worm that dieth not 
        Compels Us to our doom.
Though all which once was England stands 
        Subservient to Our will,
The Dead of whom we washed Our hands, 
        They have observance still.

We laid no finger to Their load. 
        We multiplied Their woes. 
We used Their dearly-opened road 
         To traffic with Their foes:
And yet to Them men turn their eyes, 
         To Them are vows renewed
Of Faith, Obedience, Sacrifice, 
         Honour and Fortitude!

Which things must perish. But Our hour 
        Comes not by staves or swords
So much as, subtly, through the power 
        Of small corroding words.
No need to make the plot more plain 
         By any open thrust;
But-see Their memory is slain 
          Long ere Their bones are dust! 

Wisely, but yearly, filch some wreath-
        Lay some proud rite aside-
And daily tarnish with Our breath 
        The ends for which They died. 
Distract, deride, decry, confuse-
        (Or-if it serves Us-pray!) 
So presently We break the use 
        And meaning of Their day! 



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