Thankfully, I have on tap a timely poem, because I'm hoping to get to bed before midnight tonite. The data entry is easy, because I found this already transcribed on an Australian website called Whitewolf.newcastle.edu.au (click on the article title above to go directly to the original).
I found this poem in the forepage of a Tom Clancy novel: The Teeth of the Tiger. The book is about terrorism, the poem is about terrorism, and unfortunately our current era is all too much about terrorism. This poem was written sometime between 1899 and his death in 1936. Kipling is writing about 'coersive collectivism', but here he demonstrates Cassandra's gift, fortelling issues which we now face in our daily lives and fears.
Interestingly, this can be interpreted in more than one way. Who are the Holy People? Are they the Radical Islaamists, or are they the Evangelistic Christians in America? Your answer to this question fairly defines who YOU are.
WHETHER the State can loose and bind
In Heaven as well as on Earth:
If it be wiser to kill mankind
Before or after the birth—
These are matters of high concern
Where State-kept schoolmen are;
But Holy State (we have lived to learn)
Endeth in Holy War.
Whether The People be led by The Lord,
Or lured by the loudest throat:
If it be quicker to die by the sword
Or cheaper to die by vote—
These are things we have dealt with once,
(And they will not rise from their grave)
For Holy People, however it runs,
Endeth in wholly Slave.
Whatsoever, for any cause,
Seeketh to take or give,
Power above or beyond the Laws,
Suffer it not to live!
Holy State or Holy King—
Or Holy People’s Will—
Have no truck with the senseless thing.
Order the guns and kill!
Once there was The People—Terror gave it birth;
Once there was The People and it made a Hell of Earth.
Earth arose and crushed it. Listen, O ye slain!
Once there was The People—it shall never be again!