Actions and Reactions

The Rabbi’s Song

(2 Samuel xiv, 14.)

Rudyard Kipling

IF THOUGHT can reach to Heaven,
    On Heaven let it dwell,
For fear thy Thought be given
    Like power to reach to Hell.
For fear the desolation
    And darkness of thy mind
Perplex an habitation
    Which thou hast left behind.

Let nothing linger after—
    No whimpering ghost remain,
In wall, or beam, or rafter,
    Of any hate or pain.
Cleanse and call home thy spirit,
    Deny her leave to cast,
On aught thy heirs inherit,
    The shadow of her past.

For think, in all thy sadness,
    What road our griefs may take;
Whose brain reflect our madness,
    Or whom our terrors shake:
For think, lest any languish
    By cause of thy distress—
The arrows of our anguish
    Fly farther than we guess.

Our lives, our tears, as water,
    Are spilled upon the ground;
God giveth no man quarter,
    Yet God a means hath found,
Though faith and hope have vanished,
    And even love grows dim—
A means whereby His banished
    Be not expelled from Him!

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