Debits and Credits, by Rudyard Kipling

The Portent

Horace Ode 20, Bk. V.

OH, late withdrawn from human-kind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 the 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.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:56