Sunday, 3 July 2016

Land of Our Birth - Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

Following the Brexit vote, we have seen a rise of nastiness in some quarters, with racial and xenophobic abuse on the increase.

In response to this, I would draw your attention to this delightful old poem by Rudyard Kipling. Also sometimes known as 'The Children's Song', it is largely written in the form of a prayer, from the viewpoint of the young, and, I imagine, was probably once commonly recited in school assemblies and similar. I believe the poem was written a little before WW1, and so the fourth stanza is poignant in the light of the events of the Somme battle, of which we are currently commemorating the centenary.

Here is the poem:

Land of our Birth, we pledge to thee
Our love and toil in the years to be;
When we are grown and take our place
As men and women with our race.

Father in Heaven who lovest all,
Oh, help Thy children when they call;
That they may build from age to age
An undefiled heritage.

Teach us to bear the yoke in youth,
With steadfastness and careful truth;
That, in our time, Thy Grace may give
The Truth whereby the Nations live.

Teach us to rule ourselves alway,
Controlled and cleanly night and day;
That we may bring, if need arise,
No maimed or worthless sacrifice.

Teach us to look in all our ends
On Thee for judge, and not our friends;
That we, with Thee, may walk uncowed
By fear or favour of the crowd.

Teach us the Strength that cannot seek,
By deed or thought, to hurt the weak;
That, under Thee, we may possess
Man's strength to comfort man's distress.

Teach us Delight in simple things,
And Mirth that has no bitter springs;
Forgiveness free of evil done,
And Love to all men 'neath the sun!  *

Land of our Birth, our faith, our pride,
For whose dear sake our fathers died;
Oh, Motherland, we pledge to thee
Head, heart and hand through the years to be! 

* My Emphasis

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...