countrycousin: Lego me (Default)
[personal profile] countrycousin

Time for another poem.   A recent [ profile] selenite post reminded me of this, but, although I have read a lot of Kipling, I had not run across this until Lois Bujold mentioned it on the LMB list a while ago.  Can't say I buy into the rationale, but it is a comfortable shoe.

by Rudyard Kipling

The Sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited that good part;
But the Sons of Martha favour 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.
They say to mountains ``Be ye removèd.'' They say to the lesser floods ``Be dry.''
Under their rods are the rocks reprovèd---they are not afraid of that which is high.
Then do the hill-tops shake to the summit---then is the bed of the deep laid bare,
That the Sons of Mary may overcome it, pleasantly sleeping and unaware.
They finger Death at their gloves' end where they piece and repiece the living wires.
He rears against the gates they tend: they feed him hungry behind their fires.
Early at dawn, ere men see clear, they stumble into his terrible stall,
And hale him forth like a haltered steer, and goad and turn him till evenfall.
To these from birth is Belief forbidden; from these till death is Relief afar.
They are concerned with matters hidden---under the earthline their altars are---
The secret fountains to follow up, waters withdrawn to restore to the mouth,
And gather the floods as in a cup, and pour them again at a city's drouth.
They do not preach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose.
They do not preach that His Pity allows them to drop their job when they damn-well choose.
As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and the desert they stand,
Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren's ways may be long in the land.
Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path more fair or flat;
Lo, it is black already with the blood some Son of Martha spilled for that!
Not as a ladder from earth to Heaven, not as a witness to any creed,
But simple service simply given to his own kind in their common need.
And the Sons of Mary smile and are blessèd---they know the Angels are on their side.
They know in them is the Grace confessèd, and for them are the Mercies multiplied.
They sit at the feet---they hear the Word---they see how truly the Promise runs.
They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and---the Lord He lays it on Martha's Sons!

Date: 2008-04-11 01:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As an engineer, I do like this one. Except that Martha doesn't only have sons!


Date: 2008-04-11 03:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Except that Martha doesn't only have sons!

Oh, definitely! Nor does Mary. One of my problems with the rationale. :<} The kin of Martha? Kipling had his limitations, but for his placement, he did pretty well.

Date: 2008-04-15 07:49 pm (UTC)
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
From: [personal profile] filkferengi
If you'd like your Kipling set to wonderful music, I can recommend some Leslie Fish & Michael Longcor cds.

Date: 2008-04-15 08:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That sounds good - I'd appreciate some recs. Or have you given me enough and I just have to go to her site and look?


Date: 2008-04-15 11:31 pm (UTC)
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
From: [personal profile] filkferengi
Do you have the kind of internet connection where you can download songs?

Date: 2008-04-16 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes - I have someone else's rendition of HorseTamer's Daughter in mp3.

Date: 2008-04-16 08:10 pm (UTC)
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
From: [personal profile] filkferengi
That's most likely Julia Ecklar, who has a lovely voice. Leslie Fish isn't known for her beautiful voice, although it is compelling.

Here's Leslie Fish & Rudyard Kipling--Undertaker's [yes, the whole album, but each song is short]:

This is off an out-of-print tape. They're hopefully being remastered, but I don't know when the cds will be available. Let me know what you think. If you like it, I'll send you more.

Date: 2008-04-16 11:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Got it! Many thanks!

Haven't listened to all of it, yet, and don't recognize all of the titles, but recognized and enjoyed Tomlinson and Boots. (Tomlinson was at the very end, but I started with it.)

I like the songs. She has a very lively style and infectious rhythm.

Again, many thanks!

Date: 2008-04-17 03:48 pm (UTC)
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
From: [personal profile] filkferengi
Here are the rest of the Kippled albums ["kipple"--to set Kipling to music, e.g. "Kippled Fish"]:

Leslie Fish & Rudyard Kipling--Our Fathers Of Old

Leslie Fish & Rudyard Kipling--Cold Iron

Michael Longcor [whose music is available from] has a Kipling album, too:

Michael Longcor & Rudyard Kipling--Norman And Saxon

I hope you enjoy these all.

Date: 2008-04-18 12:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Got 'em, thanks!!

Haven't had a chance to listen to them yet, but look forward to it.

Yes, I like kipling as the present participle of to kipple. ;<)

And I'll check out Longcor's site.

Again, many thanks!

Date: 2008-04-18 02:48 am (UTC)
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
From: [personal profile] filkferengi
You're very welcome; let me know what you think!

A random lurker says...

Date: 2008-04-22 12:56 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'd heard several of those in filk circles before, but had no idea that they were committed to CD. Thank you for sharing--they're lovely!

Re: A random lurker says...

Date: 2008-04-22 03:06 am (UTC)
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
From: [personal profile] filkferengi
You're very welcome!


countrycousin: Lego me (Default)

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