The Verdicts

By Rudyard Kipling 1865–1936 Rudyard Kipling

(JUTLAND)

1916

Not in the thick of the fight,
    Not in the press of the odds,
Do the heroes come to their height,
    Or we know the demi-gods.

That stands over till peace.
    We can only perceive
Men returned from the seas,
    Very grateful for leave.

They grant us sudden days
    Snatched from their business of war;
But we are too close to appraise
    What manner of men they are.

And, whether their names go down
    With age-kept victories,
Or whether they battle and drown
    Unreckoned, is hid from our eyes.

They are too near to be great,
    But our children shall understand
When and how our fate
    Was changed, and by whose hand.

Our children shall measure their worth.
    We are content to be blind . . .
But we know that we walk on a new-born earth
    With the saviours of mankind.

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Poet Rudyard Kipling 1865–1936

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Social Commentaries, War & Conflict, Mythology & Folklore, Heroes & Patriotism

Poetic Terms Quatrain, Rhymed Stanza

 Rudyard  Kipling

Biography

Rudyard Kipling is one of the best-known of the late Victorian poets and story-tellers. Although he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907, his unpopular political views caused his work to be neglected shortly after his death. Critics, however, recognize the power of his work. "His unrelenting craftsmanship, his determination to be 'master of the bricks and mortar of his trade,' compels respect, and his genius as a . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, War & Conflict, Mythology & Folklore, Heroes & Patriotism

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Quatrain, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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