Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
The Four Angels
 
AS Adam lay a-dreaming beneath the Apple Tree
The Angel of the Earth came down, and offered Earth in fee.
        But Adam did not need it,
        Nor the plough he would not speed it,
  Singing:—“Earth and Water, Air and Fire,        5
        What more can mortal man desire?”
              (The Apple Tree’s in bud.)
 
As Adam lay a-dreaming beneath the Apple Tree
The Angel of the Waters offered all the Seas in fee.
        But Adam would not take ’em,        10
        Nor the ships he wouldn’t make ’em,
  Singing:—“Water, Earth and Air and Fire,
        What more can mortal man desire?”
              (The Apple Tree’s in leaf.)
 
As Adam lay a-dreaming beneath the Apple Tree        15
The Angel of the Air he offered all the Air in fee.
        But Adam did not crave it,
        Nor the flight he wouldn’t brave it,
  Singing:—“Air and Water, Earth and Fire,
        What more can mortal man desire?”        20
              (The Apple Tree’s in bloom.)
 
As Adam lay a-dreaming beneath the Apple Tree,
The Angel of the Fire rose up and not a word said he,
        But he wished a flame and made it,
        And in Adam’s heart he laid it,        25
  Singing:—“Fire, Fire, burning Fire!
        Stand up and reach your heart’s desire!”
              (The Apple Blossom’s set.)
 
As Adam was a-working outside of Eden-Wall,
He used the Earth, he used the Seas, he used the Air and all;        30
        Till out of black disaster
        He arose to be the master
          Of Earth and Water, Air and Fire,
          But never reached his heart’s desire!
              (The Apple Tree’s cut down!)        35
 
 
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