Sunday, January 18, 2015

Happy Birthday Rudyard Kipling!

Rudyard Kipling wrote What Say the Reeds at Runnymede? in 1911.  For more on the life of Rudyard Kipling, his ancestors and descendants, see Rudyard Kipling at WikiTree.

    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!

   When through our ranks the Barons came,
    With little thought of praise or blame,
    But resolute to play the game,
    They lumbered up to Runnymede,
    And there they launched in solid line
    The first attack on Right Divine -
    The curt, uncompromising ‘Sign’
    That settled John at Runnymede.

    At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
    Your rights were won at Runnymede!
    No freeman shall be fined or bound,
    Or dispossessed of freehold ground,
    Except by lawful judgment found
    And passed upon him by his peers
    Forget not, after all these years,
    The Charter signed at Runnymede.”

    And still when Mob or Monarch lays
    Too rude a hand on English ways,
    The whisper wakes, the shudder plays,
    Across the reeds at Runnymede.
    And Thames, that knows the moods of kings,
    And the crowds and priests and suchlike things,
    Rolls deep and dreadful as he brings
    Their warning down from Runnymede!

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.

No comments: