Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
Gallio’s Song
 
(And Gallio cared for none of these things.—Acts xviii. 17)

ALL day long to the judgment-seat
The crazed Provincials drew—
All day long at their ruler’s feet
Howled for the blood of the Jew.
Insurrection with one accord        5
Banded itself and woke;
And Paul was about to open his mouth
When Achaia’s Deputy spoke—
 
“Whether the God descend from above
Or the Man ascend upon high,        10
Whether this maker of tents be Jove
Or a younger deity—
I will be no judge between your gods
And your godless bickerings.
Lictor, drive them hence with rods        15
I care for none of these things!
 
Were it a question of lawful due
Or Cæsar’s rule denied,
Reason would I should bear with you
And order it well to be tried;        20
But this is a question of words and names.
I know the strife it brings.
I will not pass upon any your claims.
I care for none of these things.
 
One thing only I see most clear,        25
As I pray you also see.
Claudius Cæsar hath set me here
Rome’s Deputy to be.
It is Her peace that ye go to break—
Not mine, nor any king’s.        30
But, touching your clamour of ‘Conscience sake,’
I care for none of these things.
 
Whether ye rise for the sake of a creed,
Or riot in hope of spoil,
Equally will I punish the deed,        35
Equally check the broil;
Nowise permitting injustice at all
From whatever doctrine it springs—
But—whether ye follow Priapus or Paul,
I care for none of these things!”        40
 
 
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