Mit Rudyard Kipling zum neuen Jahr (IV): Recessional

Gibraltar

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!

A lesser breed without the Law – das sind wir seit dem Ende der Rechtsstaatlichkeit par ordre de Mutti. Boastings, drunk with sight of power – die haben wir gehört: „Wir schaffen das!“ Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!

Armistice 1918: Waffenstillstand 1918

British_Mark_IV_tank_at_Wailly

These were our children who died for our lands: they were dear in our sight.
We have only the memory left of their hometreasured sayings and laughter.
The price of our loss shall be paid to our hands, not another’s hereafter.
Neither the Alien nor Priest shall decide on it. That is our right.
But who shall return us the children ?

At the hour the Barbarian chose to disclose his pretences,
And raged against Man, they engaged, on the breasts that they bared for us,
The first felon-stroke of the sword he had longtime prepared for us –
Their bodies were all our defence while we wrought our defences.

They bought us anew with their blood, forbearing to blame us,
Those hours which we had not made good when the Judgment o’ercame us.
They believed us and perished for it. Our statecraft, our learning
Delivered them bound to the Pit and alive to the burning
Whither they mirthfully hastened as jostling for honour.
Not since her birth has our Earth seen such worth loosed upon her!

Nor was their agony brief, or once only imposed on them.
The wounded, the war-spent, the sick received no exemption:
Being cured they returned and endured and achieved our redemption,
Hopeless themselves of relief, till Death, marvelling, closed on them.

That flesh we had nursed from the first in all cleanness was given
To corruption unveiled and assailed by the malice of Heaven –
By the heart-shaking jests of Decay where it lolled on the wires
To be blanched or gay-painted by fumes – to be cindered by fires –
To be senselessly tossed and retossed in stale Mutilation
From crater to crater.  For this we shall take expiation.
But who shall return us our children ?

Rudyard Kipling

*

Wenn in die heimat du kamst aus dem zerstampften gefild
Heil aus dem prasselnden guss höhlen von berstendem schutt
Keusch fast die rede dir floss wie von notwendigem dienst
Von dem verwegensten ritt von den gespanntesten mühn ..
Freier die schulter sich hob drauf man als bürde schon lud
Hunderter schicksal:

Lag noch im ruck deines arms zugriff und schneller befehl
In dem sanft-sinnenden aug obacht der steten gefahr
Drang eine kraft von dir her sichrer gelassenheit
Dass der weit ältre geheim seine erschüttrung bekämpft
Als sich die knabengestalt hochaufragend und leicht
Schwang aus dem sattel.

Anders als ihr euch geträumt fielen die würfel des streits ..
Da das zerrüttete heer sich seiner waffen begab
Standest du traurig vor mir wie wenn nach prunkendem fest
Nüchterne woche beginnt schmückender ehren beraubt ..
Tränen brachen dir aus um den vergeudeten schatz
Wichtigster jähre.

Du aber tu es nicht gleich unbedachtsamem schwarm
Der was er gestern bejauchzt heute zum kehricht bestimmt
Der einen markstein zerhaut dran er strauchelnd sich stiess ..
Jähe erhebung und zug bis an die pforte des siegs
Sturz unter drückendes joch bergen in sich einen sinn
Sinn in dir selber.

Alles wozu du gediehst rühmliches ringen hindurch
Bleibt dir untilgbar bewahrt stärkt dich für künftig getös ..
Sieh · als aufschauend um rat langsam du neben mir schrittst
Wurde vom abend der sank um dein aufflatterndes haar
Um deinen scheitel der schein erst von strahlen ein ring
Dann eine krone.

Stefan George

Mit Rudyard Kipling zum neuen Jahr (III): The Roman Centurion’s Song

1200px-Hadrianswall_Meilenkastell_37

Legate, I had the news last night – my cohort ordered home
By ships to Portus Itius and thence by road to Rome.
I’ve marched the companies aboard, the arms are stowed below:
Now let another take my sword. Command me not to go!

I’ve served in Britain forty years, from Vectis to the Wall,
I have none other home than this, nor any life at all.
Last night I did not understand, but, now the hour draws near
That calls me to my native land, I feel that land is here.

Here where men say my name was made, here where my work was done;
Here where my dearest dead are laid – my wife – my wife and son;
Here where time, custom, grief and toil, age, memory, service, love,
Have rooted me in British soil. Ah, how can I remove?

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Mit Rudyard Kipling zum neuen Jahr (II): Norman and Saxon

Kipling Portrait (klein)

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 share
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 and right.
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 alone.

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Rudyard Kipling über die Tradition als Voraussetzung der Freiheit

Kipling Portrait (klein)

Rudyard Kiplings „The Gods of the Copybook Headings“ („Die Götter der Schönschreibheft-Sinnsprüche“) sind ein erstaunliches Gedicht. Es ist knapp hundert Jahre alt. Wie konnte der Dichter so viele der Torheiten vorhersehen, die wir in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten begangen haben?

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.

Bestimmte Einsichten und Empfehlungen locken keinen Hund hinter dem Ofen hervor – so selbstverständlich wirken sie. Vielen Menschen, besonders wenn sie jung sind, scheinen diese Maximen deshalb nichtssagend zu sein („Wasser macht naß“ etc.). Es fehlt ihnen das Erhebende und Orignelle („Uplift“, „Vision“ usw.); genau deshalb kann man mit vielen Auffassungen, die vernünftig sind, nicht renommieren. Auch erlauben sie nicht, uns für fortgeschrittener und also klüger als frühere Generationen zu halten („March of Mankind“)… Erkennen wir Köder und Falle?

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Rudyard Kipling: Gestern vor knapp 800 Jahren

Magna Charta

Rudyard Kiplings „The Reeds of Runnymede“ (Magna Charta, June 15, 1215) — mit einigen Hervorhebungen und Kommentaren.

At Runnymede, at Runnymede
What say the reeds at Runnymede?
The lissom reeds that give and take,
That bend so far, but never break.
They keep the sleepy Thames awake
With tales of John at Runnymede.

At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
Oh, hear the reeds at Runnymede: —
„You mustn’t sell, delay, deny,
A freeman’s right or liberty.
It wakes the stubborn Englishry,
We saw ‚em roused at Runnymede!

Rechte sind „negativ“; sie verbieten dem Staat und dem Mitbürger, dies und jenes mit einem Menschen zu tun. Und sie müssen verteidigt werden.

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Mit Rudyard Kipling zum neuen Jahr

Kipling Portrait (klein)

Dane-Geld

A.D. 980-1016

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say: —
„We invaded you last night – we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away.“

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ‚em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: —
„Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away.“

And that is called paying the Dane-Geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: —

„We never pay any-one Dane-Geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that pays it is lost!