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‘A Dead Statesman’ by Rudyard Kipling

A Dead Statesman

I could not dig; I dared not rob:
Therefore I lied to please the mob.
Now all my lies are proved untrue
And I must face the men I slew.
What tale shall serve me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?

Rudyard Kipling


15 comments to ‘A Dead Statesman’ by Rudyard Kipling

  • I’m guessing he wrote that after his son was killed in World War I.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Now all my lies are proved untrue

    Clearly written in the days before ‘spin’. We now know that there is no verbal construct which is not arguably ‘true’ for certain values of ‘true’, and no lack of toadies to do the arguing.

  • Hmm

    ‘A Very Empty Suit’

    I could not write; but I could lie
    And hide it so no-one could pry.
    Now my lies shine out so Breitly
    And starts to spill what I held so tightly.
    What now can keep me among the rich
    And prevent me becoming the voters bitch?

    Barry Somebody or other – First Kenyan President of the Harvard Law Review.

  • Hmm

    Oops! Forgot to include the (Link) to go with the verse.

  • Andrew Duffin

    And here is Hillaire Beloc on a similar theme:

    Here richly, with ridiculous display,
    The Politician’s corpse was laid away.
    While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged
    I wept: for I had longed to see him hanged

  • Alisa

    This is getting better and better – more please!

  • llamas

    Oh, how I do love to Kipple, to be sure . . . .

    (Warn all coming Andrew Breitbarts – and the Times),
    It will interest them to hunt among the Files
    Where unvisited, and cold,
    Lie the crowded lies of old
    In that Obama-trove of fantasies called the Files

    (In our newspaPère-la-Chaise the Office Files)
    Contain so many facts that show the truth
    Yet the media black-out endures
    (In certain hope of sinecures)
    And their urge to hide the truth is ever- strong

    (He is in a better place, beyond the Files)
    But from far above them all, despite their ire
    From beyond his grave he guides
    Growing throngs of prying eyes
    Into the all-recording, all-effacing Files.

    I was going to have my wicked way with Johnny Cash’s “Ain’t No Grave” but then as I listened to it again, I actually realized that it’s not a bad requiem for Breitbart – just as it sets. Try it and see what you think:




  • I agree Alisa, these are rather splendid.

  • Hmm

    Thanks Perry, its not brilliant but for an off the cuff attempt I did my best. I’ve decided to live by my own advice and ridicule these twerps every chance that presents itself… Last night’s Presidential disclosure was so ridiculous in itself that it begged to be enpoemed (if that’s a word?) & Sui Generis’s Dicken’s post just begged to be ‘adapted’ 🙂

    Anyway – everyone should have a go. As llamas shows there’s brain’s aplenty here that can far outdo me.

    I’ve got to admit that I love the Hillaire Beloc one.

  • Alisa

    enpoemed (if that’s a word?)

    It is now:-)

  • Laird

    Economics blushing veils her sacred fires,
    And unawares Capitalism expires.
    Nor public flame; nor private, dares to shine;
    Nor human spark is left, nor glimpse divine!
    Lo! thy dread Empire, Lord Keynes is restored;
    Wealth dies before thy uncreating word;
    Thy hand, great Obama! lets the curtain fall;
    And universal darkness buries all.

    [Apologies to Alexander Pope]

  • Paul Marks

    Kipling did not spare himself.

    When the First World War broke out (and, by the way, British entry into World War One was NOT based on lies) Kipling’s son wished to serve.

    Young Kipling was medically unfit to serve – but his father “helped”.

    Pulled strings, LIED – to get the young man into the Irish Guards.

    As Kipling put it of some of the young men of World War One.

    “dead – because their fathers lied”.

    Kipling then wrote the Regimental history of the Irish Guards in World War One.