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ActionsA little Kipling today – it’s his year, after all.

I love The Recall, a little poem taken from Action and Reactions – one of many collections of short stories and poetry.

It is a small, dream-like thing of home-coming – even when you don’t know you are coming home – and the power of place, something that, according to Peter Ackroyd, is deeply rooted in English imagination.

To me it also has the added charm of having happened at the right moment*, many years ago, as I was coming home for good… but this is neither here nor there.

So, here is the poem:

I am the land of their fathers,
In me the virtue stays;
I will bring back my children,
After certain days.
Under their feet in the grasses
My clinging magic runs.
They shall return as strangers,
They shall remain as sons.
Over their heads in the branches
Of their new-bought, ancient trees,
I weave an incantation,
And draw them to my knees.
Scent of smoke in the evening,
Smell of rain in the night,
The hours, the days and the seasons
Order their souls aright;
Till I make plain the meaning
Of all my thousand years
Till I fill their hearts with knowledge,
While I fill their eyes with tears.

And here you can read or download Actions and Reactions from the University of Adelaide website.**


* Yes, serendipoetry happens to me a good deal.

** Another wonderful source of e-classics.