Thursday, August 11, 2016

Cities and Thrones And Powers, Rudyard Kipling

I am generally not fond of poetry, but I liked a good deal of what Kipling put out in Puck of Pook's Hill, which I just read for the first time. I like it better than Shelley's "Ozymandias," which treats a similar theme.

Cities and Thrones and Powers
  Stand  in Time's eye,
Almost as long as flowers,
  Which daily die:
But, as new buds put forth
  To glad new men,
Out of the spent and unconsidered Earth
  The Cities rise again.

This season's Daffodil,
  She never hears
What change, what chance, what chill,
  Cut down last year's;
But with bold countenance,
  And knowledge small,
Esteems her seven days' continuance,
  To be perpetual.

So Time that is o'er-kind
  To all that be,
Ordains us e'en as blind,
  As bold as she:
That in our very death,
  And  burial sure,
Shadow to shadow, well persuaded, saith,
  "See how our works endure!"
There is an explanatory note:  
The  date in the heading – A.D. 406 – is significant.. It is the year the 
Roman legions were withdrawn and Britain was left on her own to face the
 threat of Anglo-Saxon invasion. Though spoken by a Roman serving in 
Britain, there are obvious references to the situation in England 1500 
years later. 

1 comment:

Earl Wajenberg said...

If you liked Puck of Pook's Hill, you'll like Rewards and Fairies because it is exactly more of the same thing.