The Portent

Rudyard Kipling 1865 (Mumbai) – 1936 (London)



Horace, BK. V. Ode 20.

Oh, late withdrawn from human-kind
And following dreams we never knew!
Varus, what dream has Fate assigned
To trouble you?

Such virtue as commends of law
Of Virtue to the vulgar horde
Suffices not. You needs must draw
A righteous sword;

And, flagrant in well-doing, smite
The priests of Bacchus at their fane,
Lest any worshipper invite
The God again.

Whence public strife and naked crime
And-deadlier than the cup you shun--
A people schooled to mock, in time,
All law--not one.

Cease, then, to fashion State-made sin,
Nor give thy children cause to doubt
That Virtue springs from Iron within--
Not lead without.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 03, 2023

33 sec read
144

Quick analysis:

Scheme A BCBC DEDE AXXX FGFG HIHI
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 624
Words 111
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 1, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Rudyard Kipling

Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India and his tales for children. more…

All Rudyard Kipling poems | Rudyard Kipling Books

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