Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
The Necessitarian
 
I KNOW not in Whose hands are laid
  To empty upon earth
From unsuspected ambuscade
  The very Urns of Mirth;
 
Who bids the Heavenly Lark arise        5
  And cheer our solemn round—
The Jest beheld with streaming eyes
  And grovellings on the ground;
 
Who joins the flats of Time and Chance
  Behind the prey preferred,        10
And thrones on Shrieking Circumstance
  The Sacredly Absurd,
 
Till Laughter, voiceless through excess,
  Waves mute appeal and sore,
Above the midriff’s deep distress,        15
  For breath to laugh once more.
 
No creed hath dared to hail Him Lord,
  No raptured choirs proclaim,
And Nature’s strenuous Overword
  Hath nowhere breathed His Name.        20
 
Yet, it must be, on wayside jape,
  The selfsame Power bestows
The selfsame power as went to shape
  His Planet or His Rose.
 
 
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