Mr Kipling Does Write Exceedingly Good Poems

“A Servant when He Reigneth”

by Rudyard Kipling

…but a Servant when He Reigneth
Is Confusion to the end.

His feet are swift to tumult,
His hands are slow to toil,
His ears are deaf to reason,
His lips are loud in broil,
He knows no use for power,
Except to show his might,
He gives no heed to judgement,
Unless it prove him right.

Because he served a master,
Before his Kingship came,
And hid in all disaster
Behind his Master’s name,
So, when his Folly opens
The unnecessary Hells,
A Servant when He Reigneth
Throws the blame on someone else.

His vows are lightly spoken,
His faith is hard to bind,
His trust is easy broken,
He fears his fellow-kind.
The nearest mob will move him
To break the pledge he gave —
Oh, a Servant when He Reigneth
Is more than ever slave!

2 responses to “Mr Kipling Does Write Exceedingly Good Poems

  1. As all Army Officers will remember, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst’s motto is ‘Serve to Lead’.

  2. Pingback: Randoms of the past week « Foseti