The Choice


Rudyard Kipling

The American Spirit speaks:

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 us 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
    With 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—
    Wheree’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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