Whence comest thou, Gehazi, 
So reverend to behold, 
In scarlet and in ermines 
And chain of England's gold?" 
"From following after Naaman 
To tell him all is well, 
Whereby my zeal hath made me 
A Judge in Israel." 
Well done, well done, 
Stretch forth thy ready hand, 
Thou barely 'scaped from judgment, 
Take oath to judge the land 
Unswayed by gift of money 
Or privy bribe, more base, 
Of knowledge which is profit 
In any market-place. 
Search out and probe,
As thou of all canst try, 
The truthful, well-weighed answer 
That tells the blacker lie.
The loud, uneasy virtue, 
The anger feigned at will, 
To overbear a witness 
And make the Court keep still. 
Take order now, 
That no man talk aside 
In secret with his judges 
The while his case is tried. 
Lest he should show them reason 
To keep a matter hid, 
And subtly lead the questions 
Away from what he did. 
Thou mirror of uprightness, 
What ails thee at thy vows? 
What means the risen whiteness 
Of the skin between thy brows? 
The boils that shine and burrow, 
The sores that slough and bleed. 
The leprosy of Naaman 
On thee and all thy seed? 
Stand up, stand up, 
Draw close thy robe and go, 
Judge in Israel, 
A leper white as snow!


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Return to the Rudyard Kipling library , or . . . Read the next poem; General Joubert

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