The Disciple


He that hath a Gospel
 To loose upon Mankind,
Though he serve it utterly,
 Body, soul and mind,
Though he go to Calvary
 Daily for its gain,
It is His Disciple
 Shall make his labour vain.

He that hath a Gospel
 For all earth to own,
Though he etch it on the steel,
 Or carve it on the stone,
Not to be misdoubted
 Through the after-days,
It is His Disciple
 Shall read it many ways.

It is His Disciple
 (Ere Those Bones are dust )
Who shall change the Charter,
 Who shall split the Trust,
Amplify distinctions,
 Rationalize the Claim;
Preaching that the Master
 Would have done the same.

It is His Disciple
 Who shall tell us how
Much the Master would have scrapped
 Had he lived till now,
What he would have modified
 Of what he said before.
It is His Disciple
 Shall do this and more....

He that hath a Gospel
 Whereby Heaven is won
(Carpenter, or cameleer,
 Or Maya's dreaming son),
Many swords shall pierce Him,
 Mingling blood with gall;
But His Own Disciple
 Shall wound Him worst of all!


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Return to the Rudyard Kipling Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; The Dove of Dacca

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