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Beast and Man in India

by Rudyard Kipling
Written for John Lockwood Kipling

They killed a Child to please the Gods Dark children of the mere and marsh,
In Earth's young penitence, Wallow and waste and lea,
And I have bled in that Babe's stead Outcaste they wait at the village gate
Because of innocence. With folk of low degree.

I bear the sins of sinful men Their pasture is in no man's land,


That have no sin of my own, Their food the cattle's scorn;
They drive me forth to Heaven's wrath Their rest is mire and their desire
Unpastured and alone. The thicket and the thorn.

I am the meat of sacrifice, But woe to those that break their sleep,
The ransom of man's guilt, And woe to those that dare
For they give my life to the altar-knife To rouse the herd-bull from his keep,
Wherever shrine is built. The wild boar from his lair!

The Goat. Pigs and Buffaloes.

Between the waving tufts of jungle-grass, The beasts are very wise,
Up from the river as the twilight falls, Their mouths are clean of lies,
Across the dust-beclouded plain they pass They talk one to the other,
On to the village walls. Bullock to bullock's brother
Resting after their labours,
Great is the sword and mighty is the pen, Each in stall with his neighbours.
But over all the labouring ploughman's blade--
For on its oxen and its husbandmen But man with goad and whip,
An Empire's strength is laid. Breaks up their fellowship,
Shouts in their silky ears
The Oxen. Filling their soul with fears.

The torn boughs trailing o'er the tusks aslant, When he has ploughed the land,
The saplings reeling in the path he trod, He says: They understand.
Declare his might--our lord the Elephant,
Chief of the ways of God. But the beasts in stall together,
Freed from the yoke and tether,
The black bulk heaving where the oxen pant, Say as the torn flanks smoke:
The bowed head toiling where the guns careen, Nay, 'twas the whip that spoke.
Declare our might--our slave the Elephant,
And servant of the Queen.

The Elephant.
A Poison Tree
By William Blake

I was angry with my friend:


I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,


Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,


Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole


When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
Go slow my soul to feed thyself
by Emily Dickinson

Go slow, my soul, to feed thyself


Upon his rare approach --
Go rapid, lest Competing Death
Prevail upon the Coach --
Go timid, should his final eye
Determine thee amiss --
Go boldly -- for thou paid'st his price
Redemption -- for a Kiss --
Psalm 32
by Isaac Watts
Forgiveness of sins upon confession.

O Blessed souls are they


Whose sins are covered o'er!
Divinely blest, to whom the Lord
Imputes their guilt no more.

They mourn their follies past,


And keep their hearts with care;
Their lips and lives, without deceit,
Shall prove their faith sincere.

While I concealed my guilt,


I felt the fest'ring wound;
Till I confessed my sins to thee,
And ready pardon found.

Let sinners learn to pray,


Let saints keep near the throne;
Our help, in times of deep distress,
Is found in God alone.
Who are we in this complicated world?

if we come to sleep
we are His drowsy ones.

and if we come to wake


we are in His hands.

if we come to weeping,
we are His cloud full of raindrops.

and if we come to laughing,


we are His lightning in that moment.

if we come to anger and battle,


it is the reflection of His wrath.

and if we come to peace and pardon,


it is the reflection of His love.

who are we in this complicated world?

(from Rumi, Mathnawi 1, 1510 1513)