For St. Martha's Day


A Kipling fan, I am not. I don't despise his stuff, but was never really interested in his poetry and most of his novels were colored by a political intelligence I do not share nor have much patience with. While the poem that follows suggests some of this, it does seem quite a nice bit for St. Martha's Day.

from "The Sons of Martha"
R. Kipling

The Sons of Mary seldom bother,
for they have inherited that good part;
But the Sons of Martha favor their Mother
of the careful soul and the troubled heart.
And because she lost her temper once,
and because she was rude to the Lord her Guest,
Her Sons must wait upon Mary's Sons,
world without end, reprieve, or rest.

It is their care in all the ages
to take the buffet and cushion the shock.
It is their care that the gear engages;
it is their care that the switches lock.
It is their care that the wheels run truly;
it is their care to embark and entrain,
Tally, transport, and deliver duly
the Sons of Mary by land and main.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on July 29, 2002 4:39 PM.

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