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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

The Survival

Horace BK. V. Ode 22
"The Janeites"
Securely, after days
   Unnumbered, I behold
Kings mourn that promised praise
   Their cheating bards foretold.

Of earth constricting Wars,
   Of Princes passed in chains,
Of deeds out-shining stars,
   No word or voice remains.

Yet furthest times receive,
   And to fresh praise restore,
Mere breath of flutes at eve,
   Mere seaweed on the shore.

A smoke of sacrifice;
   A chosen myrtle-wreath;
An harlot's altered eyes;
   A rage 'gainst love or death;

Glazed snow beneath the moon --
   The surge of storm-bowed trees--
The Caesars perished soon,
   And Rome Herself: But these

Endure while Empires fall
   And Gods for Gods make room....
Which greater God than all
   Imposed the amazing doom?

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