The Queen's Men


 Valour and Innocence
 Have latterly gone hence
 To certain death by certain shame attended.
 Envy, ah! even to tears!
 The fortune of their years
 Which, though so few, yet so divinely ended.

 Scarce had they lifted up
 Life's full and fiery cup,
 Than they had set it down untouched before them.
 Before their day arose
 They beckoned it to close,
 Close in confusion and destruction o'er them.

 They did not stay to ask
 What prize should crown their task,
 Well sure that prize was such as no man strives for;
 But passed into eclipse,
 Her kiss upon their lips,
 Even Belphoebe's, whom they gave their lives for!


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

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