The Knight Errant

(notes by Philip Holberton, drawing on the researches of Andrew Rutherford and Thomas Pinney)


Published in the United Services College Chronicle, no. 8, 20 March 1882. This number of the USCC included “Ave Imperatrix”, the earliest of Kipling’s poems to be included in the Definitive Edition of his verse.

The poem was never collected by Kipling, but is to be found in Rutherford p. 132, and Pinney p. 1640.

The Poem

The theme is similar to “Romance and Reality” in the same number of the USCC., a jest at the poet’s own expense. He meets a horseman riding fast, and romantically takes him to be a Knight Errant on a mission of chivalry, to rescue a maid in woe. In reality, the horse is hired and if not returned in time will cost the rider an extra shilling (10 p.)

Notes on the Text

[Title] Knight Errant a medieval knight wandering in search of chivalrous adventures.

[Verse 4] Northam a village about 2 km from Westward Ho! Rutherford suggests that H-nd-rs-n (Henderson) was the keeper of a livery stable nearby.


©Philip Holberton 2019 All rights reserved