Monday, December 14, 2020

Still Relevant After All These Years - Maybe More Relevant

Here on this day when the Electoral College named Slow Joe and the Ho as the new administration. 

The Gods of the Copy Book Headings - Rudyard Kipling

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! 


  1. Kipling understood the human condition and had a rare grasp of politics & history.

    1. But he was a racist and an imperialist, and therefore not worth reading. /sarc

    2. But he was a racist and an imperialist...

      So labeled by the Moonbats, thus providing the sagacious, erudite audience with a valid and imperative reason for reading his work and pondering the implications of the lessons illustrated in same.

  2. One of my favorites. Glad to see it get out and see some daylight. Kipling is vastly under-rated these days. Modernity has lost its appreciation for real craft.

    1. I don't know how to search for this to be sure, but I'd say I've probably posted this ten or twelve times in my time here.

      It's extremely resonant for our times.

  3. Slow Joe and the Ho...

    A popular phase from the not too distant past is not my President. I intend to refer to Sloe-joe as not the President.

    I like the moniker you used, and I'm thinking that the spelling might be Sloe-Jo and the Hoe. Thoughts?

    1. Well, I got the concept from somewhere I don't recall, but sloe is a bitter fruit - it's the flavoring in sloe gin - and a hoe is garden implement. So I think Slow Joe, for a mentally addled old guy, and the Ho, for someone who slept her way to the top, is more insulting than the other. Sloe Joe is appropriate for a bitter fruit, though. I don't know of an insult for a bitter hair sniffer, though.

      Since it's yours, though, whichever you think is more offensive.

  4. Well, it's not a great plan, but at least it's a plan.

    The Unpresident