By Cllr Clive Jefferson: Rudyard Kipling was a true British Patriot, he fought for his country and was the poet of the common man, with a deep understanding of what motivated men and what defined a people.
He is much demonised now as ....yes you guessed it "a racist" and that fact alone shows that those who cast that all encompassing label on Patriots know nothing about the things that made Britain Great.
We should remember the Great British Patriots like Kipling and for those who have not read his work I hope you enjoy the extracts below from two of my favourites, The Law of the Jungle and Norman and Saxon A.D. 1100.
RUDYARD KIPLING (Born December 30, 1865, Died January 18, 1936)
Now this is the Law of the Jungle -- as old and as true as the sky; And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back --For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
From The Law of the Jungle
Norman and Saxon A.D. 1100
"My son," said the Norman Baron, "I am dying, and you will be heir
To all the broad acres in England that William gave me for share
When he conquered the Saxon at Hastings, and a nice little handful it is.
But before you go over to rule it I want you to understand this:--
"The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice right.
When he stands like an ox in the furrow--with his sullen set eyes on your own,
And grumbles, 'This isn't fair dealing,' my son, leave the Saxon alone.
"You can horsewhip your Gascony archers, or torture your Picardy spears;
But don't try that game on the Saxon; you'll have the whole brood round your ears.
From the richest old Thane in the county to the poorest chained serf in the field,
They'll be at you and on you like hornets, and, if you are wise, you will yield.
"But first you must master their language, their dialect, proverbs and songs.
Don't trust any clerk to interpret when they come with the tale of their own wrongs.
Let them know that you know what they are saying; let them feel that you know what to say.
Yes, even when you want to go hunting, hear 'em out if it takes you all day.
They'll drink every hour of the daylight and poach every hour of the dark.
It's the sport not the rabbits they're after (we've plenty of game in the park).
Don't hang them or cut off their fingers. That's wasteful as well as unkind,
For a hard-bitten, South-country poacher makes the best man-at-arms you can find.
"Appear with your wife and the children at their weddings and funerals and feasts.
Be polite but not friendly to Bishops; be good to all poor parish priests.
Say 'we,' 'us' and 'ours' when you're talking, instead of 'you fellows' and 'I.'
Don't ride over seeds; keep your temper; and never you tell 'em a lie!"
Kipling gained renown throughout the world as a poet and storyteller. He was also known as a leading supporter of the British Empire. As apparent from his stories and poems, Kipling interested himself in the romance and adventure which he found in Great Britain's colonial expansion.
Kipling was born on Dec.30, 1865, in Bombay, where his father directed an art school.
He learned Hindi from his nurse, and he also learned stories of jungle animals. At six, he was sent to school in England, but until he was 12, poor health kept him from attending.
At 17, Kipling returned to India and soon became a journalist. He wrote sketches and verses which at first were used as fillers for unused editorial space.
Many were later published in Departmental Ditties (1886). At this time, he also created his soldiers three, and Irishman, a Cockney, and a Yorkshireman, the bases for his 1888 humorous tale Soldiers Three.
In 1889, Kipling returns to England. In the 1890s, he developed a great interest in folk legends and animal myths. The Jungle Book (1894) and Just So Stories (1902) give the wit and wisdom of the animals who can talk. The stories of Mowgli, a man-cub who was the central character in The Jungle Book, brought Kipling great popularity in England and the United States.
Kipling composed many of his poems while living for several years in the United States in the mid-1890s. His poems became famous for their lively, swinging rhythm.
Typical are Gunga Din and Mandalay. The first tells of the courage of an Indian boy who is shot while carrying water to British soldiers in the thick of battle. Mandalay tries to capture the strange atmosphere of the east.
In 1896, Kipling returned to England from the United States. By then, he was a controversial figure because of his views toward empire, which many misunderstood.
In many of his works, Kipling seemed to imply that it was the duty of Great Britain to carry the white man's burden by civilizing backward races. But he was not just the shallow imperialist that his critics tried to make him appear. His famous poem, Recessional, written in 1897 in honour of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, contains a strong warning to the British not to exploit other races.
In 1900, Kipling went to South Africa to report the Boer War for an English newspaper. In 1905, Kipling completed Kim, his first major novel.
In it he gives a colourful and dramatic picture of the complicated life of the Indian People, as seen through the eyes of the poor orphan boy, Kim.
Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for literature. Before World War I, Kipling became active in politics. He widely lectured and wrote for the British cause both before and during the war.
His only son was killed in World War I. After the war, Kipling wrote Songs for Youth (1925), another of his highly popular works