Unto whose use


(Notes by Sharad Keskar)


Published as a heading to chaper VII of Kim.

Kipling’s attribution of these lines to ‘Sir John Christie’ is his own invention. They are by Kipling and are included in the various verse collections. We have not identified a poet of that name.

Notes on the Text

pregnant suns: pregnant in the sense of giving life.

By Adam’s father’s own sin bound: This line is correctly punctuated to read: “(By Adam’s, fathers’, own, sin bound alway)”, which underlines (as Kim is about to cross the threshold of learning), the Wheel of Life, in which the sin of Adam, the sins of our fathers, and our own, visit us.

Say which planet mends thy threadbare fate or mars: as Kim crosses the divide between ignorance and learning, what indeed does the future hold? What fate is in the offing for this “Friend of the Stars”?


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