(July 16th to 22nd)

Format: Triple

My brother kneels, so saith Kabir,
To stone and brass in heathen wise,
But in my brother’s voice I hear
My own unanswered agonies.
His God is as his fates assign,
His prayer is all the world’s – and mine.


This is ‘The Prayer’ at the head of Chapter XIV in ‘Kim’, at the crisis of the tale.

‘Kim’ reflects the many-sided contrasts and contradictions of British India, between peoples and religions and traditions. There seems, indeed, to be a fundamental contradiction at the heart of the novel, between the Lama’s dedication to his quest for freedom from the Wheel of Things, and Kim’s commitment to the life of action in the ‘Great Game’. But in ‘The Prayer’ Kipling asserts the oneness of humanity.

I do not look for holy saints to guide me on my way,
Or male and female devilkins to lead my feet astray.
If these are added, I rejoice – if not, I shall not mind.
So long as I have leave and choice to meet my fellow-kind.
For as we come and as we go (and deadly-soon go we) ,
The people, Lord, Thy people, are good enough for me!


This is the opening verse of the poem, ‘A Pilgrim’s Way.

‘Blessed be the English and all their ways and works.
Cursed be the Infidels, Hereticks, and Turks!’
‘Amen,’ quo’ Jobson, ‘but where I used to lie
Was neither Candle, Bell nor Book to curse my brethren by,

But a palm-tree in full bearing, bowing down, bowing down,
To a surf that drove unsparing at the brown, walled town –
Conches in a temple, oil-lamps in a dome –
And a low moon out of Africa said: “This way home!”‘


These are the opening verses of the poem ‘Jobson’s Amen’.