The Hymn To Physical Pain


Dread Mother of Forgetfulness
 Who, when Thy reign begins,
Wipest away the Soul's distress,
 And memory of her sins.

The trusty Worm that dieth not,
 The steadfast Fire also,
By Thy contrivance are forgot
 In a completer woe.

Thine are the lidless eyes of night
 That stare upon our tears,
Through certain hours which in our sight
 Exceed a thousand years:

Thine is the thickness of the Dark
 That presses in our pain,
As Thine the Dawn that bids us mark
 Life's grinning face again.

Thine is the weariness outworn
 No promise shall relieve,
That says at eve, "Would God 'twere morn"
 At morn, "Would God 'twere eve!"

And when Thy tender mercies cease
 And life unvexed is due,
Instant upon the false release
The Worm and Fire renew.

Wherefore we praise Thee in the deep,
 And on our beds we pray
For Thy return that Thou may'st keep
 The Pains of Hell at bay!


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Return to the Rudyard Kipling Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; The Idiot Boy

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