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To Mr. Rudyard Kipling
by [?]


To Mr. Rudyard Kipling[1]

True laureate of the Anglo-Saxon race,
Whose words have won the hearts of young and old;
So free from cant, and yet replete with grace,
Or prose or verse it glows like burnished gold;
Thy muse is ever loyal to the truth,
And those who know thee best forget thy youth.

Unbend thy bow and rest with us awhile;
Thy active mind requires a healthy brain;
Death’s shadow has gone back upon the dial,
And thou art left a higher goal to gain;
The future will eclipse the brilliant past;
Fear not; thy ideal will be reached at last.

To do the grandest work one must needs be
Endowed by Nature for the master task;
Yea more, he must possess the light to see
Those mysteries which nature seems to mask,
And this can gain but in the royal way–
‘Tis dread experience leads from gloom to-day.

The Master saw a struggling youth, and smiled,
Pleased with his work in main; but, knowing too
His latent power, if it could be beguiled
From hiding-place, much greater work would do,
He took His servant’s hand and led the way
Through vale of sorrow up to brighter day.

By other path this height is ne’er attained,
Nor books nor schools its hidden wealth unveil.
Philosophy and art have treasures gained,
But in this quest they must forever fail–
Experience only can the gift impart,
Bring needed light and regulate the heart.

To solace those who grieve one must have felt
In his own heart the rending pangs of pain;
The heart that suffers not will never melt
At others’ woes, though free from selfish stain;
What we have felt and seen we truly know,
And thus endowed, our tears for others flow.

So leave thy much-loved lyre awhile unstrung
Till health again invigorate thy frame;
With brain renewed, with vigorous heart and lung
Take up thy work once more, and greater fame–
A richer man by far than e’er before,
For thou hast treasure on the other shore.

[Footnote 1: These lines were written directly after Mr. Kipling’s recovery from severe illness.]