Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
The Choice

The American Spirit speaks:

          TO the Judge of Right and Wrong
            With Whom fulfilment lies
          Our purpose and our power belong,
            Our faith and sacrifice.
          Let Freedom’s Land rejoice!        5
            Our ancient bonds are riven;
          Once more to us the eternal choice
            Of Good or ill is given.
          Not at a little cost,
            Hardly by prayer or tears,        10
          Shall we recover the road we lost
            In the drugged and doubting years.
          But, after the fires and the wrath,
            But, after searching and pain,
          His Mercy opens us a path        15
            To live with ourselves again.
          In the Gates of Death rejoice!
            We see and hold the good—
          Bear witness, Earth, we have made our choice
            With Freedom’s brotherhood!        20
          Then praise the Lord Most High
            Whose Strength hath saved us whole,
          Who bade us choose that the Flesh should die
            And not the living Soul!
          To the God in Man displayed        25
            Wheree’er we see that Birth,
          Be love and understanding paid
            As never yet on earth!
          To the Spirit that moves in Man,
            On Whom all worlds depend,        30
          Be Glory since our world began
            And service to the end!

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