Gertrude’s Prayer

(notes edited by John McGivering and John Radcliffe)


First published with “Dayspring Mishandled” in Limits and Renewals in 1932 and later collected in Inclusive Verse, Definitive Verse, The Collected Works of Rudyard Kipling (Wordsworth Poetry Library), T. S. Eliot’s A Choice of Kipling’s Verse page 294, and the Sussex Edition, Volume 11, page 31, and Volume 34, page 399.

The poem

A dark sad doom-laden work; see our notes on “Dayspring Mishandled” .

For observations on Chaucer see also Kipling’s “Prologue to the Master-Cook’s Tale” following “His Gift” in (Land and Sea Tales).

The English of the verses is a modernised version of what Chaucer might have said had he written it – most is self-evident except where indicated below.

Notes on the Text

[Verse 2]

To-bruized be that … spray: If that spray is bruised.

sterting  archaic spelling for “starting”  [D.H.]

rind: bark.

A branch of girt: the branch of a tree of some size.

wriedbent, contorted. {D.H.]

wen: a wart or swelling etc.

[Verse 3]

Sith: since

oe: one or own.

Jesu-Moder, pitie my oe paine: (Mary) Mother of Jesus, pity my pain.



©John McGivering and John Radcliffe 2020 All rights reserved