Quotes Christmastide

December 24th to 30th


‘How do I know what is greatest,
How do I know what is least?
That is My Father’s business,’
Said Eddi, Wilfrid’s priest.

‘But – three are gathered together –
Listen to me and attend.
I bring good news, my brethren!’
Said Eddi of Manhood End.


This is from “Eddi’s service” , our poiem of the week/

Grey dusk behind the tamarisks—the parrots fly together—
As the sun is sinking slowly over Home;
And his last ray seems to mock us shackled in a lifelong tether.
That drags us back how’er so far we roam.
Hard her service, poor her payment—she in ancient, tattered raiment—
India, she the grim Stepmother of our kind.
If a year of life be lent her, if her temple’s shrine we enter,
The door is shut—we may not look behind.

This is from “Christmas in India”, published un 1886, qhen Kipling had worked in India for four years. It was a time of year when the British ub India fely most keenly that they were exiled from home.

God bless the master of this house,
And all who sleep therein!
And guard the fens from pirate folk,
And keep us all from sin,
To walk in honesty, good sirs,
Of thought and deed and word!
Which shall befriend our latter end. . . .
And who shall judge the Lord?


This is from “”A Carol”, a poem linked to two dark stories, “The Tree of Justice” and “A Burgher of the Free State”