Tell Me, Sir, Do you Kiple?

*Let’s face it, if this bunch did high tea, it might very well look like that.

At any rate, I FINALLY have a repaired dryer (long story) and therefore I need to do some quick cleaning I haven’t done in two weeks, and change my sheets and towels, so the auto immune attack will stop ramping up. (Probably cat hair, to be fair.) So, I leave you to a guest post by Mr. Kipling. It’s time. It’s been a while. And heaven knows these are rounding outside the door – SAH*

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

95 thoughts on “Tell Me, Sir, Do you Kiple?

  1. Recessional

    God of our fathers, known of old,
    Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
    Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
    Dominion over palm and pine—
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    The tumult and the shouting dies;
    The Captains and the Kings depart:
    Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
    An humble and a contrite heart.
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    Far-called, our navies melt away;
    On dune and headland sinks the fire:
    Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
    Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
    Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
    Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
    Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
    Or lesser breeds without the Law—
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    For heathen heart that puts her trust
    In reeking tube and iron shard,
    All valiant dust that builds on dust,
    And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
    For frantic boast and foolish word—
    Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!

    1. Still my favorite, and interesting to remember that this was what Kipling wrote for Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee. For all his reputation as an Imperialist, Kipling often served as the slave who said, “Remember British Empire, thou art mortal.”

      1. Yes. So much this. He saw the downside so clearly.
        It still fries me that idiots still claim him as a raaaaacist imperialist. FFS, he was warning about the dangers of empire!

        1. that’s why they hate him.

          He looked at reality, and warned of downsides; rather than looking at labels, and singing their song.

  2. Two and Two make Four . . . I do wonder if he were a prophet of sorts.

    Confutus, do you know the tune name for that?

          1. If there is ONE THING at which the Progressives absolutely excel, it is not learning from the past. Less intrepid souls, with greater humility, would attend to past failures and conclude that something other than “More Cowbell” was called for.

    1. There may be more than one. The LDS hymnal has the first three verses of it set to “Alice” by Leroy J. Robertson.

      1. has this entry for Recessional as a hymn
        There seem to be 3 predominant tunes and then a boatload of others
        Meter is so six lines of 8 syllables each, Hymnary has 250+ tunes in that rhythm.
        for example St. Catherine (common tune for Faith of our Fathers) is that rhythm.
        Another famous one with that rhythm is Melitta/Dykes which is the setting for Eternal Father Strong to Save (aka the Navy Hymn).

  3. Hymn Before Action

    The earth is full of anger,
    The seas are dark with wrath,
    The Nations in their harness
    Go up against our path:
    Ere yet we loose the legions —
    Ere yet we draw the blade,
    Jehovah of the Thunders,
    Lord God of Battles, aid!

    High lust and froward bearing,
    Proud heart, rebellious brow —
    Deaf ear and soul uncaring,
    We seek Thy mercy now!
    The sinner that forswore Thee,
    The fool that passed Thee by,
    Our times are known before Thee —
    Lord, grant us strength to die!

    For those who kneel beside us
    At altars not Thine own,
    Who lack the lights that guide us,
    Lord, let their faith atone!
    If wrong we did to call them,
    By honour bound they came;
    Let not Thy Wrath befall them,
    But deal to us the blame.

    From panic, pride, and terror
    Revenge that knows no rein —
    Light haste and lawless error,
    Protect us yet again,
    Cloke Thou our undeserving,
    Make firm the shuddering breath,
    In silence and unswerving
    To taste Thy lesser death.

    Ah, Mary pierced with sorrow,
    Remember, reach and save
    The soul that comes to-morrow
    Before the God that gave!
    Since each was born of woman,
    For each at utter need —
    True comrade and true foeman —
    Madonna, intercede!

    E’en now their vanguard gathers,
    E’en now we face the fray —
    As Thou didst help our fathers,
    Help Thou our host to-day.
    Fulfilled of signs and wonders,
    In life, in death made clear —
    Jehovah of the Thunders,
    Lord God of Battles, hear!

  4. An excerpt from Kipling’s “City of Brass”:

    As for their kinsmen far off, on the skirts of the nation,
    They harried all earth to make sure none escaped reprobation.
    They awakened unrest for a jest in their newly-won borders,
    And jeered at the blood of their brethren betrayed by their orders.
    They instructed the ruled to rebel, their rulers to aid them;
    And, since such as obeyed them not fell, their Viceroys obeyed them.
    When the riotous set them at naught they said: “Praise the upheaval!
    For the show and the world and the thought of Dominion is evil!”
    They unwound and flung from them with rage, as a rag that defied them,
    The imperial gains of the age which their forefathers piled them.
    They ran panting in haste to lay waste and embitter for ever
    The wellsprings of Wisdom and Strengths which are Faith and Endeavour.
    They nosed out and digged up and dragged forth and exposed to derision
    All doctrine of purpose and worth and restraint and prevision:

    And it ceased, and God granted them all things for which they had striven,
    And the heart of a beast in the place of a man’s heart was given. . . .

  5. For our Congress:

    (In Memory of a Commission)
    Help for a patriot distressed, a spotless spirit hurt,
    Help for an honourable clan sore trampled in the dirt!
    From Queenstown Bay to Donegal, oh, listen to my song,
    The honourable gentlemen have suffered grievous wrong.

    Their noble names were mentioned — oh, the burning black disgrace! —
    By a brutal Saxon paper in an Irish shooting-case;
    They sat upon it for a year, then steeled their heart to brave it,
    And “coruscating innocence” the learned Judges gave it.

    Bear witness, Heaven, of that grim crime beneath the surgeon’s knife,
    The “honourable gentlemen” deplored the loss of life!
    Bear witness of those chanting choirs that burke and shirk and snigger,
    No man laid hand upon the knife or finger to the trigger!

    Cleared in the face of all mankind beneath the winking skies,
    Like phœnixes from Phœnix Park (and what lay there) they rise!
    Go shout it to the emerald seas — give word to Erin now,
    Her honourable gentlemen are cleared — and this is how: —

    They only paid the Moonlighter his cattle-hocking price,
    They only helped the murderer with counsel’s best advice,
    But — sure it keeps their honour white — the learned Court believes
    They never give a piece of plate to murderers and thieves.

    They never told the ramping crowd to card a woman’s hide,
    They never marked a man for death — what fault of theirs he died? —
    They only said “intimidate,” and talked and went away —
    By God, the boys that did the work were braver men than they!

    Their sin it was that fed the fire — small blame to them that heard —
    The boys get drunk on rhetoric, and madden at a word —
    They knew whom they were talking at, if they were Irish too,
    The gentlemen that lied in Court, they knew, and well they knew!

    They only took the Judas-gold from Fenians out of jail,
    They only fawned for dollars on the blood-dyed Clan-na-Gael.
    If black is black or white is white, in black and white it’s down,
    They’re only traitors to the Queen and rebels to the Crown.

    “Cleared”, honourable gentlemen! Be thankful it’s no more: —
    The widow’s curse is on your house, the dead are at your door.
    On you the shame of open shame; on you from North to South
    The hand of every honest man flat-heeled across your mouth.

    “Less black than we were painted”? — Faith, no word of black was said;
    The lightest touch was human blood, and that, you know, runs red.
    It’s sticking to your fist to-day for all your sneer and scoff,
    And by the Judge’s well-weighed word you cannot wipe it off.

    Hold up those hands of innocence — go, scare your sheep together,
    The blundering, tripping tups that bleat behind the old bell-wether;
    And if they snuff the taint and break to find another pen,
    Tell them it’s tar that glistens so, and daub them yours again!

    “The charge is old”? — As old as Cain — as fresh as yesterday;
    Old as the Ten Commandments — have ye talked those laws away?
    If words are words, or death is death, or powder sends the ball,
    You spoke the words that sped the shot — the curse be on you all!

    “Our friends believe”? — Of course they do — as sheltered women may;
    But have they seen the shrieking soul ripped from the quivering clay?
    They! — If their own front door is shut,
    they’ll swear the whole world’s warm;
    What do they know of dread of death or hanging fear of harm?

    The secret half a county keeps, the whisper in the lane,
    The shriek that tells the shot went home behind the broken pane,
    The dry blood crisping in the sun that scares the honest bees,
    And shows the boys have heard your talk — what do they know of these?

    But you — you know — ay, ten times more; the secrets of the dead,
    Black terror on the country-side by word and whisper bred,
    The mangled stallion’s scream at night, the tail-cropped heifer’s low.
    Who set the whisper going first? You know, and well you know!

    My soul! I’d sooner lie in jail for murder plain and straight,
    Pure crime I’d done with my own hand for money, lust, or hate,
    Than take a seat in Parliament by fellow-felons cheered,
    While one of those “not provens” proved me cleared as you are cleared.

    Cleared — you that “lost” the League accounts — go, guard our honour still,
    Go, help to make our country’s laws that broke God’s law at will —
    One hand stuck out behind the back, to signal “strike again”;
    The other on your dress-shirt-front to show your heart is clane.

    If black is black or white is white, in black and white it’s down,
    You’re only traitors to the Queen and rebels to the Crown.
    If print is print or words are words, the learned Court perpends: —
    We are not ruled by murderers, but only — by their friends.

    1. I remember when I realized that that poem could be sung to the tune of “The Wearing of the Green” . . .

  6. The Kipling Society in England has all of his poems and many of his short stories online. Many of them are accompanied by a “Readers’ Guide” explaining points that would have been known to Kipling’s educated Victorian readers but are less obvious to readers from other cultures a century later. For example, here is the guide for Copybook Headings:

    The indexes of poems and stories are here (links broken to avoid moderation):

    kiplingsociety co uk / poems.htm

    kiplingsociety co uk / bookmart_tales.htm

  7. And this one, for them…. and us.

    The Old Issue
    October 9, 1899

    (Outbreak of Boer War)
    Here is nothing new nor aught unproven,” say the Trumpets,
    “Many feet have worn it and the road is old indeed.
    “It is the King–the King we schooled aforetime! ”
    (Trumpets in the marshes-in the eyot at Runnymede!)

    “Here is neither haste, nor hate, nor anger,” peal the Trumpets,
    “Pardon for his penitence or pity for his fall.
    “It is the King!”–inexorable Trumpets–
    (Trumpets round the scaffold af the dawning by Whitehall!)

    . . . . . . .

    “He hath veiled the Crown And hid the Scepter,” warn (he Trum pets,
    “He hath changed the fashion of the lies that cloak his will.
    “Hard die the Kings–ah hard–dooms hard!” declare the Trumpets,
    Trumpets at the gang-plank where the brawling troop-decks fill!

    Ancient and Unteachable, abide–abide the Trumpets!
    Once again the Trumpets, for the shuddering ground-swell brings
    Clamour over ocean of the harsh, pursuing Trumpets–
    Trumpets of the Vanguard that have sworn no truce with Kings!

    All we have of freedom, all we use or know–
    This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.

    Ancient Right unnoticed as the breath we draw–
    Leave to live by no man’s leave, underneath the Law.

    Lance and torch and tumult, steel and grey-goose wing
    Wrenched it, inch and ell and all, slowly from the king.

    Till our fathers ‘stablished,, after bloody years,
    How our King is one with us, first among his peers.

    So they bought us freedom-not at little cost–
    Wherefore must we watch the King, lest our gain be lost.

    Over all things certain, this is sure indeed,
    Suffer not the old King: for we know the breed.

    Give no ear to bondsmen bidding us endure.
    Whining “He is weak and far”; crying “Time will cure.”

    (Time himself is witness, till the battle joins,
    Deeper strikes the rottenness in the people’s loins.)

    Give no heed to bondsmen masking war with peace.
    Suffer not the old King here or overseas.

    They that beg us barter–wait his yielding mood–
    Pledge the years we hold in trust-pawn our brother’s blood–

    Howso’ great their clamour, whatsoe’er their claim,
    Suffer not the old King under any name!

    Here is naught unproven–here is naught to learn.
    It is written what shall fall if the King return.

    He shall mark our goings, question whence we came,
    Set his guards about us, as in Freedom’s name.

    He shall take a tribute, toll of all our ware;
    He shall change our gold for arms–arms we may not bear.

    He shall break his Judges if they cross his word;
    He shall rule above the Law calling on the Lord.

    He shall peep and mutter; and the night shall bring
    Watchers ‘neath our window, lest we mock the King —

    Hate and all division; hosts of hurrying spies;
    Money poured in secret, carrion breeding flies.

    Strangers of his counsel, hirelings of his pay,
    These shall deal our Justice: sell-deny-delay.

    We shall drink dishonour, we shall eat abuse
    For the Land we look to–for the Tongue we use.

    We shall take our station, dirt beneath his feet,
    While his hired captains jeer us in the street.

    Cruel in the shadow, crafty in the sun,
    Far beyond his borders shall his teachings run.

    Sloven, sullen, savage, secret, uncontrolled,
    Laying on a new land evil of the old–

    Long-forgotten bondage, dwarfing heart and brain–
    All our fathers died to loose he shall bind again.

    Here is nought at venture, random nor untrue
    Swings the wheel full-circle, brims the cup anew.

    Here is naught unproven, here is nothing hid:
    Step for step and word for word–so the old Kings did!

    Step by step, and word by word: who is ruled may read.
    Suffer not the old Kings: for we know the breed–

    All the right they promise–all the wrong they bring.
    Stewards of the Judgment, suffer not this King !

  8. One that Haunts me is this (Tommy)
    I WENT into a public ‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
    The publican ‘e up an’ sez, ” We serve no red-coats here.”
    The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
    I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
    O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ” Tommy, go away ” ;
    But it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play.

    I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
    They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
    They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
    But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ” Tommy, wait outside “;
    But it’s ” Special train for Atkins ” when the trooper’s on the tide
    The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
    O it’s ” Special train for Atkins ” when the trooper’s on the tide.

    Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
    Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap.
    An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
    Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
    Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul? ”
    But it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes ” when the drums begin to roll
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes, ” when the drums begin to roll.

    We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
    But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
    An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
    Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
    While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be’ind,”
    But it’s ” Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind
    There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
    O it’s ” Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.

    You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
    We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
    Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
    The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! ”
    But it’s ” Saviour of ‘is country ” when the guns begin to shoot;
    An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
    An ‘Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!

    Yet another bit of Kipling that our alleged leaders mostly ignore.

    1. Haunting is this one. Any resemblance between the 30 million English then and the 300 million Americans now is purely intentional.

      The Last of the Light Brigade
      There were thirty million English who talked of England’s might,
      There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
      They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
      They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

      They felt that life was fleeting; they knew not that art was long,
      That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.
      They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
      And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four!

      They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
      Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;
      And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, “Let us go to the man who writes
      The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites.”

      They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
      To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;
      And, waiting his servant’s order, by the garden gate they stayed,
      A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.

      They strove to stand to attention, to straighten the toil-bowed back;
      They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;
      With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
      They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.

      The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and “Beggin’ your pardon,” he said,
      “You wrote o’ the Light Brigade, sir. Here’s all that isn’t dead.
      An’ it’s all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin’ the mouth of hell;
      For we’re all of us nigh to the workhouse, an’ we thought we’d call an’ tell.

      “No, thank you, we don’t want food, sir; but couldn’t you take an’ write
      A sort of ‘to be continued’ and ‘see next page’ o’ the fight?
      We think that someone has blundered, an’ couldn’t you tell’em how?
      You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now.”

      The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
      And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with “the scorn of scorn.”
      And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
      Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shame.

      O thirty million English that babble of England’s might,
      Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;
      Our children’s children are lisping to “honour the charge they made –”
      And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!

      1. As many of you know, I am a Vietnam vet. When I first came back from SE Asia, I drank like a fish. Today we would likely say I was self-medicating for PTSD. If I hadn’t been taken in hand by a Good Woman, I would long ago be dead in a ditch somewhere. (Michele and I will celebrate our 50th this year). My dilemma, brought sharply home by this poem, is when I see a homeless “veteran”, I have the following thoughts: Is he really a vet? Is he really homeless? If he is in the same sort state I was in 1970, I will be doing him no long term favor giving him money. I’ve volunteered in veteran’s groups. I give money to veteran’s groups I think are doing good work. But what the frack am I to do about this man, likely a brother by oath and blood shed, right in front of me?

        1. You could have some meal bars (Zone Perfect, Slim-Fast and the like) available to give them. If they’re actually homeless vets, they could use something vitamin-fortified to eat.

          1. Agree. Not money. I’ve also been known to collect free samples of pet food and treats and hand those out to veterans with pets. Been also known to buy kibble and hand that out in gallon bags for homeless with animals.

          2. When I’ve lived in urban areas, I’ve kept coupons for a meal at a mission in my wallet. Bonus–if they’re not actually hungry, they get pretty angry if you hand them a food voucher. Sorts out the posers.

              1. The church I attend does a similar thing. We have in the past given out gift cards to one of the local grocery stores that do NOT have a liquor section to folks in need. There is a compassion fund that is used for this kind of thing, but even there it is NEVER cash, We’ll directly pay unexpected or overwhelming bills but never cash. Not even to members in need is cash given out as it can really be a temptation…

          3. If you want a project for kids or those who Want To Do Good, “beggar bags” are a good choice.

            We did two or three versions– Lady’s, Men’s and Just Need Something. Lady’s had the nice soap, and feminine sanitation products. Men’s had the more masculine friendly soaps, and a cheap razor. Just Need Something was only the common stuff– some hard candies, a treat snack bar, an meal replacement bar, and if we could get it those little hand sanitizers, some gum, those little jerky snacks the size of your finger, that kind of stuff. And we’ve always got a flat of water because Mommy Is Cheap.

            If you’ve got a budget bakery outlet in your area, know where it is and if you see someone on the corner with a sign– pop in, and grab some bread. It’s a great way to tell if someone is serious or not. (I keep peanut butter in the car for the kids to do snacks on, and when we didn’t have bags I’ve handed a loaf of bread and a pound of peanut butter with a spoon over. If they had a baby, the kids’ apple sauce pouches joined. Only found one person who wasn’t at least a good enough actor to PRETEND to be glad of it.)

        2. seen guys claiming to be vets of vietnam, or even the first gulf war, that are clearly not the age to have been in then. its depressed me.

          1. I am *still* somewhat freaked out by the “old guy” at my first duty station that was a Vietnam draft vet– like day one, and hard life, but holy crud! He was so OLD, all my folks’ generation that didn’t avoid it were draft or volunteer vets!

            He was real, and a great guy, just top end of the age curve for the draft– but it was the flip side of my supervisor doing the math and realizing his grandmother was the same age as my mom. (Mom married late, he had two generations of unplanned teen pregnancies in his background. Was close to retirement. Decent fellow, FWIW, just easily brain-broke.)

          2. Related– last spring we saw our first “Veteran of Iraqi freedom” who was no way even in high school during Rolling Freedom, much less in the military.

            The halfelf and I are were both on the young end for that.

        3. Thank you for your service. I joined the Guard in the early ’80s, and many of my fellow Guardsmen were Vietnam (not just ‘Vietnam era’) vets. My uttermost respect to them, and you.

          And when I worked in downtown Minneapolis, there was a fellow who hung out on the mall with a sign reading ‘VETERAN. Homeless. Hungry. Please help.’ So coming back from lunch to the shop, I’d stop at Mickey D’s and pick up a cheeseburger meal and hand it to him as I passed by. After a week or so, when he saw me coming he’d get up and scuttle away.

  9. We should never forget TGotCBH. And yet, one of the great marvels of this world is that Crazy Eddie has his place, too …

      1. When asked would I Kiple,
        I first begged for a tipple.
        Mistook as a sot,
        I said, “not a jot.”
        But asked them to make it a triple.

  10. I still haven’t lived down the last tea party I had.

    For those of you who haven’t teased me about it, might as well join in on the fun! So, I had planned a nice high tea off-site from LibertyCon, with a bunch of author’s wives and female authors who are as much screaming introvert as I am (or rara avis, even more so.) Unfortunately, come time for tea, one had gotten sucked into being on this panel, one had to man a booth, one had been sucked into volunteering, and one had found a hole, crawled in, and pulled it shut after her.

    So I said to my husband and the rest of the North Texas Pilots, Writers, & Shooters Association, “Would you like to go to tea? I already have reservations.” And they did. On the way, we crossed path with Col. Tom Kratman (Retired, gives great hugs). And so I invited him to tea, as well. And he agreed!

    So I had my tea and my crustless sandwiches and scones with clotted cream and jam and my tarts and my little quiches… and conversation included various firefights people had been in, knife fights, and my Calmer Half and Old NFO relating as how they both chased the same Russian sub all across the Atlantic back when they were each in the military for their respective countries (an amusing tale, especially as they only realized when swapping tales at dinner after we’d moved to Tiny Town, Texas that “Oh, that was YOU!” Small world, sometimes.)

    Eventually, I realized we were past closing, and the very nice, very proper ladies that owned the tea shop still weren’t bringing the bill; instead they were assiduously wiping down the nearby tables in earshot that had been wiped down four times before…

    And people still ask me if I’m going to organize another tea party.

    1. For that tea party I would even eat the stupid cucumber sandwiches that seem so pointless. My daughters love high tea, a bad habit they got into in their pre teen years at the Wenham Tea House, and places on our various vacations like Jordan Pond House at Acadia National Park

    2. wasn’t tea, but at the kitchen table chatting over beer (not me, too young then)
      Dad had two company big-wigs visiting the plant who were a tag team of sorts for streamlining and improving things, and they stopped by for after work, why bother going back to the little motel, just hanging about (they really liked Dad). One was a German fellow and the other was Midwest American, but were Navy men from WW2 (Dad was also Navy, but Early 60’s service). The German fellow was in a U-Boat and the American was on an escort chasing subs across the Atlantic. Jibes and minor disagreements of contained “I shoulda sunk you when I had the chance” or “You’re lucky that torpedo was a dud.” but mostly it was just stories of bad weather. Dad almost got washed off deck by a rogue wave. U-boats were fine in the deep but his kept having to surface and the whole boat seemed to get sick. Winter ops were hard on baseball bats, keeping ice from capsizing the Tin Can.

  11. I had 4 books that were my favorites when I was 10: Kim, The Count of Monte Cristo, Ivanhoe, and Pride and Prejudice. I should get a copy of Kim and re-read it. I read it multiple times and still remember bits and pieces very well, but I imagine it would impress me quite differently 56 years later…

  12. It was not part of their blood,
    It came to them very late
    With long arrears to make good,
    When the English began to hate.

    They were not easily moved,
    They were icy-willing to wait
    Till every count should be proved,
    Ere the English began to hate.

    Their voices were even and low,
    Their eyes were level and straight.
    There was neither sign nor show,
    When the English began to hate.

    It was not preached to the crowd,
    It was not taught by the State.
    No man spoke it aloud,
    When the English began to hate.

    It was not suddenly bred,
    It will not swiftly abate,
    Through the chill years ahead,
    When Time shall count from the date
    That the English began to hate.

    1. I like the alternate version that replaces “English “ with “Saxon”.

      It then segues nicely into “Norman and Saxon “ sticking to a similar theme, but having a complementary scheme.
      Which is evidently hit the alternate version happened in the first place, the editor compiling the collection was doing so partially from memory, and conflated the two.
      (Yes, I’m totally planning to do something musical with a medley of the two. Just as soon as I come up with something that doesn’t actively detract from either work.)

      1. Gads! I’m remiss for not posting the referenced poem!

        Norman and Saxon
        Rudyard Kipling

        A.D. 1100
        “My son,” said the Norman Baron, “I am dying, and you will
        be heir
        To all the broad acres in England that William gave me for
        When he conquered the Saxon at Hastings, and a nice little
        handful it is.
        But before you go over to rule it I want you to understand this:–

        “The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
        But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice
        When he stands like an ox in the furrow–with his sullen set eyes
        on your own,
        And grumbles, ‘This isn’t fair dealing,’ my son, leave the Saxon

        “You can horsewhip your Gascony archers, or torture your
        Picardy spears;
        But don’t try that game on the Saxon; you’ll have the whole
        brood round your ears.
        From the richest old Thane in the county to the poorest chained
        serf in the field,
        They’ll be at you and on you like hornets, and, if you are wise,
        you will yield.

        “But first you must master their language, their dialect, proverbs
        and songs.
        Don’t trust any clerk to interpret when they come with the tale
        of their own wrongs.
        Let them know that you know what they are saying; let them feel
        that you know what to say.
        Yes, even when you want to go hunting, hear ’em out if it takes
        you all day.

        They’ll drink every hour of the daylight and poach every hour
        of the dark.
        It’s the sport not the rabbits they’re after (we’ve plenty of game
        in the park).
        Don’t hang them or cut off their fingers. That’s wasteful as well
        as unkind,
        For a hard-bitten, South-country poacher makes the best man-
        at-arms you can find.

        “Appear with your wife and the children at their weddings and
        funerals and feasts.
        Be polite but not friendly to Bishops; be good to all poor parish
        Say ‘we,’ ‘us’ and ‘ours’ when you’re talking, instead of ‘you
        fellows’ and ‘I.’
        Don’t ride over seeds; keep your temper; and never you tell ’em
        a lie!”

        1. I cannot agree with that assessment.
          Simply because the alteration does not change the meaning, the rhythm, or the rhyme scheme, while it increases consonance/assonance that intermittently adds to the impact.

          Much of the egalitarian English ideal comes from the Saxons. (And for most of the last century, it was commonly argued “all”. I think that rather shortchanges the Celts, Picts, Jutes, and Angles, but given the lack of documentation, I’d be hard pressed to prove it.)

          1. Erm…. no.

            Look, it’s just wrong. The Saxons, Angles, Jutes, et al. were a hierarchical society. All the Germanic societies were hierarchical, they all had law based on personal wealth and status, they all had concubinage and other practices that lowered women’s status (if the woman had a noble clan behind her, as with the Franks, her status was higher, but otherwise not). They did have a certain amount of assemblies of the people, but so did the various Celtic groups. So did the Romans, for that matter. And of course the Saxons were totally comfy with slaves, just like the Celts and the Welsh and the Romans and the Normans and the Danes and everybody else.

            Egalitarianism usually comes from being small groups of people that have to band together. England had that locally, for various reasons.

    2. “No man spoke it aloud,”

      This, which is why so many fools wonder where the riot/war/revolution came from all of a sudden.

      1. And that reminds me of Chesterton’s “The Secret People”:

        They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,
        Lords without anger or honour, who dare not carry their swords.
        They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
        They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
        And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
        Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.

        We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
        Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
        It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,
        Our wrath come after Russia’s wrath and our wrath be the worst.
        It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
        God’s scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.
        But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
        Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.

  13. Broadsword

    I see a dark sail on the horizon
    Set under a black cloud that hides the sun
    Bring me my broadsword and clear understanding
    Bring me my cross of gold as a talisman

    Get up to the roundhouse on the cliff-top standing
    Take women and children and bed them down
    Bring me my broadsword and clear understanding
    Bring me my cross of gold as a talisman

    Bless with a hard heart and those who surround me
    Bless the women and children, who firm our hands
    Put our backs to the north wind, hold fast by the river
    Sweet memories to drive us on for the motherland

    I see a dark sail on the horizon
    Set under a black cloud that hides the sun
    So bring me my broadsword and clear understanding
    Bring me my cross of gold as a talisman

    So bring me my broadsword and a cross of gold as a talisman

    – Ian Scott Anderson

    1. Mr. Houst you are a man of excellent taste. That is of course Broadsword off of Broadsword and the Beast by Jethro Tull of which Ian Anderson is Lead Singer and Flutist (among other instruments).

      1. Back on March 19th, Mr. Anderson did a YouTube show on the 50th anniversary of Aqualung, was quite neat to listen to.

  14. Soldier an’ Sailor too

    (The Royal Regiment of Marines)

    AS I was spittin’ into the Ditch aboard o’ the Crocodile,
    I seed a man on a man-o’-war got up in the Reg’lars’ style.
    ‘E was scrapin’ the paint from off of ‘er plates, an’ I sez to ‘im, “‘Oo are you?”
    Sez ‘e, “I’m a Jolly—’Er Majesty’s Jolly—soldier an’ sailor too!”
    Now ‘is work begins by Gawd knows when, and ‘is work is never through;
    ‘E isn’t one o’ the reg’lar Line, nor ‘e isn’t one of the crew.
    ‘E’s a kind of a giddy harumfrodite—soldier an’ sailor too!

    An’, after I met ‘im all over the world, a-doin’ all kinds of things,
    Like landin’ ‘isself with a Gatlin’ gun to talk to them ‘eathen kings;
    ‘E sleeps in an ‘ammick instead of a cot, an’ ‘e drills with the deck on a slew,
    An’ ‘e sweats like a Jolly—’Er Majesty’s Jolly—soldier an’ sailor too!
    For there isn’t a job on the top o’ the earth the beggar don’t know, nor do—
    You can leave ‘im at night on a bald man’s ‘ead, to paddle ‘is own canoe—
    ‘E’s a sort of a bloomin’ cosmopolouse—soldier an’ sailor too.

    We’ve fought ’em in trooper, we’ve fought ’em in dock, and drunk with ’em in betweens,
    When they called us the seasick scull’ry-maids, an’ we called ’em the Ass–Marines;
    But, when we was down for a double fatigue, from Woolwich to Bernardmyo,
    We sent for the Jollies—’Er Majesty’s Jollies—soldier an’ sailor too!
    They think for ’emselves, an’ they steal for ’emselves, and they never ask what’s to do,
    But they’re camped an’ fed an’ they’re up an’ fed before our bugle’s blew.
    Ho! they ain’t no limpin’ procrastitutes—soldier an’ sailor too.

    You may say we are fond of an ‘arness-cut, or ‘ootin’ in barrick-yards,
    Or startin’ a Board School mutiny along o’ the Onion Guards; (1)
    But once in a while we can finish in style for the ends of the earth to view,
    The same as the Jollies—’Er Majesty’s Jollies—soldier an’ sailor too!
    They come of our lot, they was brothers to us; they was beggars we’d met an’ knew;
    Yes, barrin’ an inch in the chest an’ the arm, they was doubles o’ me an’ you;
    For they weren’t no special chrysanthemums—soldier an’ sailor too!

    To take your chance in the thick of a rush, with firing all about,
    Is nothing so bad when you’ve cover to ‘and, an’ leave an’ likin’ to shout;
    But to stand an’ be still to the Birken’ead drill is a damn tough bullet to chew,
    An’ they done it, the Jollies—’Er Majesty’s Jollies—soldier an’ sailor too!
    Their work was done when it ‘adn’t begun; they was younger nor me an’ you;
    Their choice it was plain between drownin’ in ‘eaps an’ bein’ mopped by the screw,
    So they stood an’ was still to the Birken’ead drill, (2) soldier an’ sailor too!

    We’re most of us liars, we’re ‘arf of us thieves, an’ the rest are as rank as can be,
    But once in a while we can finish in style (which I ‘ope it won’t ‘appen to me).
    But it makes you think better o’ you an’ your friends, an’ the work you may ‘ave to do,
    When you think o’ the sinkin’ Victorier’s (3) Jollies—soldier an’ sailor too!
    Now there isn’t no room for to say ye don’t know—they ‘ave proved it plain and true—
    That whether it’s Widow, or whether it’s ship, Victorier’s work is to do,
    An’ they done it, the Jollies—’Er Majesty’s Jollies—soldier an’ sailor too!

  15. The Sons of Martha

    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 teach that His Pity allows them to leave 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 days 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 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 !

    1. And it will be “the sons of Martha” piecing the world back together after “the Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return.”

      1. Well, as C.S. Lewis observed, Kipling tends to care so much about the work that he doesn’t worry so much about whether the work should be done. There are Sons of Martha who bring about the arrival of the gods because they are dutifully doing the work that brings the disaster.

  16. I was looking for something different, but one line of this one really jumped out at me. (And it’s Public Domain, so, bonus.)

    The Riders of Babylon
    Robert E. Howard

    The riders of Babylon clatter forth
    Like the hawk-winged scourgers of Azrael
    To the meadow-lands of the South and North
    And the strong-walled cities of Israel.
    They harry the men of the caravans,
    They bring rare plunder across the sands
    To deck the throne of the great god Baal.
    But Babylon’s king is a broken shell
    And Babylon’s queen is a sprite from Hell;
    And men shall say, “Here Babylon fell,”
    Ere Time has forgot the tale.
    The riders of Babylon come and go
    From Gaza’s halls to the shores of Tyre;
    They shake the world from the lands of snow
    To the deserts, red in the sunset’s fire;
    Their horses swim in a sea of gore
    And the tribes of the earth bow down before;
    They have chained the seas where the Cretans sail.
    But Babylon’s sun shall set in blood;
    Her towers shall sink in a crimson flood;
    And men shall say, “Here Babylon stood,”
    Ere Time forgot the tale.

    1. Even by normal standards, Howard wrote an incredible amount. Considering how short his life was… and some of it was in longhand, too.

    2. REH’s poetry is highly underrated.

      And yes, I did get my screenname from his stories.

      1. Unfortunately, a lot of his really powerful stuff isn’t public domain, because it wasn’t collected and published until 1976.
        •Song of the Naked Lands• is my personal favorite, but there are a ton of good ones.

        But here’s one that describes the “woke” quite aptly.

        Yodels of Good Sneer to the Pipple, Damn Them
        Robert E. Howard

        We are the buttock shakers
        And we are the slayers of dreams,
        Dredging our lone sea breakers,
        Damming up beautiful streams.
        Bad losers and friend forsakers
        In whom the jackal screams,
        But we are the grabbers and takers
        Of the world forever it seems

        With rotten, bastardly ditties
        We tore up the world’s great cities.
        And over the ashes of glory
        Erected a tenement whorey.

        One man with a godamned hammer
        Can batter a statue down
        And four with an apeish clamor
        Can tear off a virgin’s gown.

        We, with our sneers and lying,
        Since the day when the dawns were young,
        Built Gomorrah with our spying
        And Sodom we reared and sung.
        And we curse all the birds for flying,
        And the sod whence the flowers sprung,
        As we go selling and buying,
        Building a world of dung.

  17. I hope all of you stay safe and keep in touch when The Gods of the Copybook Headings show up again.

  18. *Let’s face it, if this bunch did high tea, it might very well look like that.

    I resemble that remark…wait, I mean resent…yeah, that’s the ticket.

    In off-topic news, my parish is finally ending special sign-up and limited attendance a week from Sunday.

  19. I’m in a mood.

    I think it would be funny to claim that I had never heard of Kipling.

    I’ve also been making a list of youtube vids, that I may post a bunch of at once. That could almost be appropriate for today’s post.

    Gripping hand, I’ve had a long day, and have some more work in front of me before I can call an end.

    Later all.

  20. “Let’s face it, if this bunch did high tea, it might very well look like that.”

    In spirit, perhaps, but the lack of dragons, a sea serpent, a wallaby, and an aardvark at the very least would preclude close physical resemblance.

  21. “The three-volume novel is extinct.”
    Full thirty foot she towered from waterline to rail.
    It took a watch to steer her, and a week to shorten sail;
    But, spite all modern notions, I’ve found her first and best –
    The only certain packet for the Islands of the Blest.

    Fair held the breeze behind us – ‘twas warm with lover’s prayers,
    We’d stolen wills for ballast and a crew of missing heirs.
    They shipped as Able Bastards till the Wicked Nurse confessed,
    And they worked the old three-decker to the Islands of the Blest.

    By ways no gaze could follow, a course unspoiled of Cook,
    Per Fancy, fleetest in man, our titled berths we took
    With maids of matchless beauty and parentage unguessed,
    And a Church of England parson for the Islands of the Blest.

    We asked no social questions – we pumped no hidden shame –
    We never talked obstetrics when the Little Stranger came:
    We left the Lord in Heaven, we left the fiends in Hell.
    We weren’t exactly Yussufs, but – Zuleika didn’t tell.

    No moral doubts assailed us, so when the port we neared,
    The villain had his flogging at the gangway, and we cheered.
    ‘Twas fiddle in the foc’s’le – ‘twas garlands on the mast,
    For every one was married, and I went at shore at last.

    I left ‘em all in couples a-kissing on the decks.
    I left the lovers loving and parents signing cheques.
    In endless English comfort, by county-folk caressed,
    I left the old three-decker at the Islands of the Blest! . . .

    That route is barred to steamers: you’ll never lift again
    Our purple-painted headlands or the lordly keeps of Spain.
    They’re just beyond your skyline, howe’er so far you cruise,
    In a ram-you-damn-you liner with a brace of bucking screws.

    Swing round your aching searchlight – ‘twill show no haven’s peace.
    Ay, blow your shrieking sirens at the deaf, grey-bearded seas!
    Boom our the dripping oil-bags to skin the deep’s unrest –
    And you aren’t one knot the nearer to the Islands of the Blest.

    But when you’re threshing, crippled, with broken bridge and rail,
    At a drogue of dead convictions to hold you head to gale,
    Calm as the Flying Dutchman, from truck to taffrail dressed,
    You’ll see the old three-decker for the Islands of the Blest.

    You’ll see her tiering canvas in sheeted silver spread;
    You’ll hear the long-drawn thunder ‘neath her leaping figure-head;
    While far, so far above you, her tall poop-lanterns shine
    Unvexed by wind or weather like the candles round a shrine!

    Hull down – hull down and under – she dwindles to a speck,
    With noise of pleasant music and dancing on her deck.
    All’s well – all’s well aboard her – she’s left you far behind,
    With a scent of old-world roses through the fog that ties you blind.

    Her crews are babes or madmen? Her port is all to make?
    You’re manned by Truth and Science, and you steam for steaming’s sake?
    Well, tinker up your engines – you know your business best –
    She’s taking tired people to the Islands of the Blest!

  22. I have issues with this particular Kipling poem. It strikes me as taking the side of the Right-Thinking people against that tiny, often-despised, and frequently-condemned minority whose absence causes “Bad Luck.”

    At the very least, it’s easy to misinterpret it that way, as a justification for locking down or kicking out those despised ones. Because the everyday miracles they produce get taken as signs that we have sinned – “Yes, SINNED! Brothers and Sisters!” – against the Gods of the Copybook Headings. And so we must – MUST! – cast the condemned ones out lest the fire & slaughter return to smite the Right-Thinking.

  23. I don’t see anything about condemning sinners. Except, perhaps, the practitioners of folly. What I read is a warning that careless, thoughtless hedonism has consequences which are likely to be both unexpected and disastrous to those who indulge in wishful thinking and ignore the dark side of human nature.

  24. Well, I see no one has posted this one:

    MacDonough’s Song

    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.

    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.

    Whatsoever, for any cause,
    Seeketh to take and give
    Power above and 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.

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