The Choice by Rudyard Kipling


In honour of this momentous occasion, let the Poet-Laureate of the British Empire give tongue to what has happened:

To the Judge of Right and Wrong 
With Whom fulfilment lies 
Our purpose and our power belong, 
Our faith and sacrifice. 

Let Freedom's land rejoice! 
Our ancient bonds are riven; 
Once more to use the eternal choice 
Of Good or Ill is given. 

Not at a little cost, 
Hardly by prayer or tears, 
Shall we recover the road we lost 
In the drugged and doubting years. 

But, after the fires and the wrath, 
But, after searching and pain, 
His Mercy opens us a path 
To live with ourselves again. 

In the Gates of Death rejoice! 
We see and hold the good— 
Bear witness, Earth, we have made our choice 
For Freedom's brotherhood! 

Then praise the Lord Most High 
Whose Strength hath saved us whole, 
Who bade us choose that the Flesh should die 
And not the living Soul! 

To the God in Man displayed— 
Where'er we see that Birth, 
Be love and understanding paid 
As never yet on earth! 

To the Spirit that moves in Man, 
On Whom all worlds depend, 
Be Glory since our world began 
And service to the end!

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