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          Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

                       THE CHOICE


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 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!


The above poem can be found in:
  • Kipling, Rudyard. Rudyard Kipling's Verse: Inclusive Edition, 1885-1918. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1919.