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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

The Supports

"On the Gate"
Song of the Waiting Seraphs
(From "Debits and Credits")
Full Chorus.

To Him Who bade the Heavens abide, yet cease not from their motion,
To Him Who tames the moonstruck tide a day round the Ocean –
Let His Names be magnified in all poor folks’ devotion!

Powers and Gifts.

Not for Prophecies or Powers, Visions, Gifts, or Graces,
But the unregardful hours that grind us in our places
With the burden on our backs, the weather in our faces.


Not for any Miracle of easy Loaves and Fishes,
But for doing, ‘gainst our will, work against our wishes –
Such as finding food to fill daily-emptied dishes.


Not for Voices, Harps or Wings or rapt illumination,
But the grosser Self that springs of use and occupation,
Unto which the Spirit clings as her last salvation.

Powers, Glories, Toils, and Gifts.

(He Who launched our Ship of Fools many anchors gave us,
Lest one gale should start them all – one collision stave us.
		Praise Him for the petty creeds
		That prescribe in paltry needs
Solemn rites to trivial deeds and, by small things, save us!)

Services and Loves.

Heart may fail, and Strength outwear, and Purpose turn to Loathing,
But the everyday affair of business, meals, and closing,
Builds the bulkhead ‘twixt Despair and the Edge of Nothing.


(Praise Him, then, Who orders it that, though Earth be flaring,
		And the crazy skies are lit
		By the searchlights of the Pit,
Man should not depart a whit from his wonted bearing.)


He Who bids the wild-swans’ hosts still maintain their flight on
		Air-roads over islands lost –
		Ages since ‘neath Ocean lost –
Beaches of some sunken coast their fathers would alight on –


He shall guide us through this dark, not by new-blown glories,
But by every ancient mark our fathers used before us,
Till our children ground their ark where the proper shore is.

Services, Patiences, Faiths, Hopes, and Loves.

He Who used the clay that clings on our boots to make us,
Shall not suffer earthly things to remove or shake us:
		But, when Man denies His Lord,
		Habit without Fleet or Sword
		(Custom without threat or word)
Sees the ancient fanes restored – the timeless rites o’ertake us!

Full Chorus.

For He Who makes the Mountains smoke and rives the Hill asunder,
		And, to-morrow, leads the grass –
		Mere unconquerable grass –
Were the fuming crater was, to heal and bide it under,
		He shall not – He shall not –
Shall not lay on us the yoke of too long Fear and Wonder!

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