Debits and Credits

Jane’s Marriage

Rudyard Kipling

JANE went to Paradise:
    That was only fair.
Good Sir Walter followed her,
    And armed her up the stair.
Henry and Tobias,
    And Miguel of Spain,
Stood with Shakespeare at the top
    To welcome Jane.

Then the Three Archangels
    Offered out of hand
Anything in Heaven’s gift
    That she might command.
Azrael’s eyes upon her,
    Raphael’s wings above,
Michael’s sword against her heart,
    Jane said: ‘Love.’

Instantly the under-
    standing Seraphim
Laid their fingers on their lips
        And went to look for him.
Stole across the Zodiac,
Harnessed Charles’s Wain,
And whispered round the Nebulae-
    ‘Who loved Jane?’

In a private limbo
    Where none had thought to look,
Sat a Hampshire gentleman
    Reading of a book.
It was called Persuasion,
    And it told the plain
Story of the love between
    Him and Jane.

He heard the question
    Circle Heaven through—
Closed the book and answered:
    ‘I did—and do!’
Quietly but speedily
    (As Captain Wentworth moved)
Entered into Paradise
    The man Jane loved!

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