Rudyard Kipling

30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay

A Death-Bed

1918
This is the State above the Law.
The State exists for the State alone."


Some die shouting in gas or fire;
Some die silent, by shell and shot.
Some die desperate, caught on the wire -
Some die suddenly. This will not.

"Regis suprema voluntas Lex"

Some die pinned by the broken decks,
Some die sobbing between the boats.

Some die eloquent, pressed to death
By the sliding trench as their friends can hear
Some die wholly in half a breath.
Some--give trouble for half a year.

"There is neither Evil nor Good in life
Except as the needs of the State ordain."


Some die saintly in faith and hope--
One died thus in a prison-yard--
Some die broken by rape or the rope;
Some die easily. This dies hard.

"I will dash to pieces who bar my way.
Woe to the traitor! Woe to the weak! "


Some die quietly. Some abound
In loud self-pity. Others spread
Bad morale through the cots around .
This is a type that is better dead.

"The war was forced on me by my foes.
All that I sought was the right to live."
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