improved rudyard kipling poems for general petraeus….

MacDonough’s Song

by Rudyard Kipling

WHETHER the State can loose and bind
In Heaven as well as on Earth: If it be wiser to kill mankind
Before or after the birth—
These are matters of high concern
Where State-kept schoolmen are;
But Holy State (we have lived to learn)
Endeth in Holy War.

Once there was The People—Terror gave it birth;
Once there was The People and it made a Hell of Earth.
Earth arose and crushed it. Listen, O ye slain!
Once there was The People—it shall never be again!
Whether The People be led by The Lord,
Or lured by the loudest throat:
If it be quicker to die by the sword
Or cheaper to die by vote—
These are things we have dealt with once,
(And they will not rise from their grave)
For Holy People, however it runs,
Endeth in wholly Slave.
Once there was The People—Terror gave it birth;
Once there was The People and it made a Hell of Earth.
Earth arose and crushed it. Listen, O ye slain!
Once there was The People—it shall never be again!

Whatsoever, for any cause,
Seeketh to take or give,
Power above or beyond the Laws,
Suffer it not to live!
Holy State or Holy King—
Or Holy People’s Will—
Have no truck with the senseless thing.
Order the guns and kill!

Saying—after—me:—

Once there was The People—Terror gave it birth;
Once there was The People and it made a Hell of Earth.
Earth arose and crushed it. Listen, O ye slain!
Once there was The People—it shall never be again!

If any question why we died,
  Tell them, because our fathers lied.
      – Rudyard Kipling, Common Form,
        in “Epitaphs of War 1914-1918″ from in The Years Between

For agony and spoil
  Of nations beat to dust,
    For poisoned air and tortured soil
      And cold, commanded lust,
        And every secret woe
          The shuddering waters saw–
            Willed and fulfilled by high and low–
              Let them relearn the Law.
      – Rudyard Kipling, Justice

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