Gallio’s Song

(notes edited by John McGivering)


First published in Actions and Reactions (1909) where it follows “Little Foxes”; collected in the Sussex Edition, Volume 8, page 249 and Volume 34, page 57, and the Burwash Edition, Volumes 8 and 27; Definitive Verse with the heading from Acts 28, 17: ‘And Gallio cared for none of these things’. , other slight variations and the extra stanza No. 5 beginning ‘Whether ye rise for the sake of a creed’, Collected Verse and The Wordsworth Poetry Library similarly.

Notes on the Text

[Title] Gallio was the proconsul of Achaia who refused to try St. Paul (Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 18) see also “The Manner of Men” and “The Church that was at Antioch” Both are collected in Limits and Renewals (1932)

See also Kipling’s use of the name ‘Gallio’ in his 1888 story “The Judgement of Dungara”.

[Verse 1]
Achaia part of the North coast of Peloponnesus, Greece, which was crushed by the Romans in 146 B.C.
maker of tents Paul learned this trade in his youth.
Jove another name for Jupiter, the supreme god of Roman mythology.
Lictor an officer attending a magistrate.

[Verse 4]
Claudius Cæsar Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus
(10 B.C – 54 A.D.) Emperor of Rome, 41 – 54 A.D.)

[Verse 5]
Spoil in this context, loot.
Priapus the god of fertility in Greek mythology.


©John McGivering 2020 All rights reserved