The Five Nations



(Notes edited
by Mary Hamer)





[January 21 2008]


A note on the background
of the collection

by Mary Hamer

Publication history
by Mary Hamer


The poems are listed in the order determined by Kipling when he was preparing the collection for publication; click here for a listing by title, and here for a listing by first line.

Title First line Notes
Dedication Before a midnight breaks in storm
The Sea and the Hills Who hath desired the sea? —the sight of salt water unbounded
The Bell Buoy They christened my brother of old
Cruisers As our mother the Frigate, bepainted and fine
The Destroyers The strength of twice three thousand horse
White Horses Where run your colts at pasture
The Second Voyage We've sent our little Cupids all ashore
The Dykes We have no heart for the fishing, we have no hand for the oar
The Song of Diego Valdez The God of Fair Beginnings
The Broken Men For things we never mention
The Feet of the Young Men Now the Four-way lodge is opened, and the Hunting Winds are loosed
The Truce of the Bear Yearly, with tent and rifle, our careless white men go
The Old Men This is our lot if we live so long, and labour unto the end
The Explorer There's no sense in going further—it's the edge of cultivation
The Wage-slaves Oh glorious are the guarded heights
The Burial When that great Kings return to clay
General Joubert With those that bred, with those that loosed the strife
The Palace When I was a King and a mason —a Master proven and skilled
Sussex God gave all men all earth to love
Song of the Wise Children When the darkened Fifties dip to the North
Buddhe at Kamakura Oh ye who tread the Narrow Way
The White Man's Burden Take up the White Man's Burden
Pharaoh and the Sergeant Said England unto Pharaoh, 'I must make a man of you'
Our Lady of the Snows A Nation spoke to a Nation
'Et Dona Ferentes' In extended observation of the ways and works of man
Kitchener's School Oh Hushee, carry your shoes in your hand, and bow your head on your breast
The Young Queen Her hand was still on her sword-hilt, the spur was still on her heel
Rimmon Daily with knees that feign to quake
The Old Issue 'Here is nothing new , or aught unproven', say the trumpets
Bridge Guard in the Karroo Sudden the desert changes
The Lesson Let us admit it fairly, as a business people should
The Files Files
The Reformers Not in the camp his victory lies
Dirge of Dead Sisters Who recalls the twlight and the ranged tents in order
The Islanders No doubt but ye are the people —your throne is abive the King's
The Peace of Dives The Word came down to Dives, in Torment where he lay
South Africa Lived a woman wonderful
The Settler Here where my fresh-turned furrows run

SERVICE SONGS

The Service Man "Tommy" you was when it began
Chant Pagan Me that 'ave been what I've been
M.I. I wish my mother could see me now, with a fence-post under my arm
Columns Out o' the wilderness, dusty and dry
The Parting of the Columns We've rode and fiought and ate and drunk as rations come to hand
Two Kopjes Only two African kopjes
The Instructor At times when under cover I 'ave said
Boots We're foot—slog—slog—slog—slogging over Africa
The Married Man The bachelor, 'e fights for one
Lichtenberg Smells are surer than sounds or sights
Stellenbosh The General 'eard the firin' on the flank
Half Ballad of Waterval When by the labour of my 'ands
Piet I do not love my Empire's foes
Wilful-Missing' There is a world outside the one you know
Ubique There is a word you often see, pronounce it as you may
The Return Peace is declared, 'an I return
Recessional God of our fathers, known of old