The Kiplings and India: A Collection of Writings from British India, 1870-1900

His Consolation (Rudyard Kipling)

So be it, you give me my release,
And let me go.  Yes, I am free.  
But think you that a love will cease
By bidding merely?  Can yon sea
      Stop at the tide's increase?  

You hold the matter ended then?  
Are right if you begin anew? 
You turn your eyes on other men.  
Can that fact cut my love from you, 
       If you win one or ten? 

Your words count nothing, since your soul
Is mine—as you will find at last
When you have finished out the whole
Of life, and stare at me aghast,
      Waiting you at the goal.  

You cannot, cannot understand? 
Go forward then, the time will be
When, lip to lip and hand to hand,
By some far-distant planet's sea
              We meet—and command.  


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