Rudyard Kipling

“WHENCE comest thou, Gehazi,
    So reverend to behold,
In scarlet and in ermines
    And chain of England’s gold?”
“From following after Naaman
    To tell him all is well,
Whereby my zeal hath made me
    A Judge in Israel.”

Well done, well done, Gehazi!
    Stretch forth thy ready hand,
Thou barely ‘scaped from judgment,
    Take oath to judge the land
Unswayed by gift of money
    Or privy bribe, more base,
Of knowledge which is profit
    In any market-place.

Search out and probe, Gehazi,
    As thou of all canst try,
The truthful, well-weighed answer
    That tells the blacker lie—
The loud, uneasy virtue
    The anger feigned at will,
To overbear a witness
    And make the Court keep still.

Take order now, Gehazi,
    That no man talk aside
In secret with his judges
    The while his case is triect.
Lest he should show them—reason
    To keep a matter hid,
And subtly lead the questions
    Away from what he did.

Thou mirror of uprightness,
    What ails thee at thy vows?
What means the risen whiteness
    Of the skin between thy brows?
The boils that shine and burrow,
    The sores that slough and bleed—
The leprosy of Naaman
    On thee and all thy seed?
        Stand up, stand up, Gehazi,
            Draw close thy robe and go,
        Gehazi, Judge in Israel,
            A leper white as snow!

Back    |    Words Home    |    Kipling Home    |    Site Info.    |    Feedback