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Rudyard Kipling (Редьярд Киплинг)

«Debits and Credits». (1919-1926). 4. To the Companions

       Horace, BK. V. Ode 17.
          "The United Idolaters"

How comes it that, at even-tide,
  When level beams should show most truth,
Man, failing, takes unfailing pride
  In memories of his frolic youth?

Venus and Liber fill their hour;
  The games engage, the law-courts prove;
Till hardened life breeds love of power
  Or Avarice, Age's final love.

Yet at the end, these comfort not--
  Nor any triumph Fate decrees--
Compared with glorious, unforgot--
  Ten innocent enormities

Of frontless days before the beard,
  When, instant on the casual jest,
The God Himself of Mirth appeared
  And snatched us to His heaving breast

And we--not caring who He was
  But certain He would come again--
Accepted all He brought to pass
  As Gods accept the lives of men...

Then He withdrew from sight and speech,
  Nor left a shrine. How comes it now,
While Charon's keel grates on the beach,
  He calls so clear: "Rememberest thou?"

Rudyard Kipling's other poems:
  1. «A History of England». 1911. 20. The Secret of the Machines
  2. The Wishing Caps
  3. Amour de Voyage
  4. «Limits and Renewals». 1932. 19. Azrael's Count
  5. «A History of England». 1911. 9. The Dawn Wind

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