by John McGivering)
|notes on the text|
Before my Spring I garnered Autumn’s gain,Philip Holberton writes: These lines are a lament for the doomed love in the story. John Holden has known love and fatherhood and then bereavement too early in his life: 'I saw the sunset ere men saw the day'. And because he loved across racial and religious barriers both his happiness and now his grief have to be kept hidden: 'who am too wise in all I should not know.' In Life’s Handicap this verse is entitled "Bitter Waters". [P.H.]
Out of her time my field was white with grain,
The year gave up her secrets to my woe.
Forced and deflowered each sick season lay,
In mystery of increase and decay;
I saw the sunset ere men saw the day,
Who am too wise in that I should not know.
'….a little group of stories which I cannot but hold to be the culminating point of his genius so far. If the remainder of his writings were swept away, posterity would be able to reconstruct its Rudyard Kipling from “ Without Benefit of Clergy”, “The Man Who Would be King”, “The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes” and “Beyond the Pale”. 'This is another story that was nearly made into a film ( Andrew Lycett, p. 499, John Gross, p. 162, and David Gilmour, p. 288)