After the promise


There are versions handwritten by Kipling in Notebooks 1 and 3, dated 29 March 1882. See Rutherford p. 24 for details of the Notebooks.

Never published by Kipling as a complete poem, but the first three stanzas and the last are used, with minor variations, in (Many Inventions, 1893), as examples of the execrably bad love poetry written by the bank clerk Charlie Mears, when he had lost his heart to a young woman, and was no longer inspired by memories of his previous lives

The complete poem is to be found in Rutherford p. 138, and Pinney p. 1644.

Notes on the Text

[Final couplet] This reads Over the heart of one in later revision in Notebook 1. Notebook 3 has And of this life to one, and Many Inventions Over the soul of one. In Notebook 1 the lines originally read:

For I am as a God, and a sovereign Lord –
Over the soul of one.


©Philip Holberton 2019 All rights reserved