“Not though you die tonight”

(notes edited by John McGivering)



Published as a heading to By Word of Mouth in Plain Tales from the Hills (1888). Collected in Definitive Verse and subsequent collections, as a Chapter Heading.

The Poem

T.S.Eliot includes this poem in his A Choice of Kipling’s Verse. It has a slight echo of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18, and leaves one wishing for more:

Is it for fear to wet a widow’s eye
That thou consum’st thyself in single life ?
Ah ! If thou issueless should hap to die,
The world will wail thee like a makeless wife.
William Shakespeare



©John McGivering 2020 All rights reserved