Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
Natural Theology
 
PRIMITIVE
I ATE my fill of a whale that died
  And stranded after a month at sea….
There is a pain in my inside.
  Why have the Gods afflicted me?
Ow! I am purged till I am a wraith!        5
  Wow! I am sick till I cannot see!
What is the sense of Religion and Faith?
  Look how the Gods have afflicted me!
 
PAGAN
How can the skin of rat or mouse hold
  Anything more than a harmless flea?…        10
The burning plague has taken my household.
  Why have my Gods afflicted me?
All my kith and kin are deceased,
  Though they were as good as good could be,
I will out and batter the family priest,        15
  Because my Gods have afflicted me!
 
MEDIÆVAL
My privy and well drain into each other
  After the custom of Christendie….
Fevers and fluxes are wasting my mother.
  Why has the Lord afflicted me?        20
The Saints are helpless for all I offer—
  So are the clergy I used to fee.
Henceforward I keep my cash in my coffer,
  Because the Lord has afflicted me.
 
MATERIAL
I run eight hundred hens to the acre
        25
  They die by dozens mysteriously….
I am more than doubtful concerning my Maker.
  Why has the Lord afflicted me?
What a return for all my endeavour—
  Not to mention the L. S. D!        30
I am an atheist now and for ever,
  Because this God has afflicted me!
 
PROGRESSIVE
Money spent on an Army or Fleet
  Is homicidal lunacy….
My son has been killed in the Mons retreat,        35
  Why is the Lord afflicting me?
Why are murder, pillage and arson
  And rape allowed by the Deity?
I will write to the Times, deriding our parson
  Because my God has afflicted me.        40
 
CHORUS
We had a kettle: we let it leak:
  Our not repairing it made it worse.
We haven’t had any tea for a week….
  The bottom is out of the Universe!
 
CONCLUSION
This was none of the good Lord’s pleasure,
        45
  For the Spirit He breathed in Man is free;
But what comes after is measure for measure,
  And not a God that afflicteth thee.
As was the sowing so the reaping
  Is now and evermore shall be.        50
Thou art delivered to thine own keeping.
  Only Thyself hath afflicted thee!
 
 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors