Saturday, February 11, 2017

Banquet Night

By Rudyard Kipling

"ONCE in so often," King Solomon said, 
Watching his quarrymen drill the stone, 
"We will club our garlic and wine and bread 
And banquet together beneath my Throne, 
And all the Brethren shall come to that mess 
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less."

"Send a swift shallop to Hiram of Tyre, 
Felling and floating our beautiful trees, 
Say that the Brethren and I desire 
Talk with our Brethren who use the seas. 
And we shall be happy to meet them at mess 
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less." 

"Carry this message to Hiram Abif- 
Excellent master of forge and mine :- 
I and the Brethren would like it if 
He and the Brethren will come to dine 
(Garments from Bozrah or morning-dress) 
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less."

"God gave the Hyssop and Cedar their place- 
Also the Bramble, the Fig and the Thorn- 
But that is no reason to black a man's face 
Because he is not what he hasn't been born. 
And, as touching the Temple, I hold and profess 
We are Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less."

So it was ordered and so it was done, 
And the hewers of wood and the Masons of Mark, 
With foc'sle hands of Sidon run 
And Navy Lords from the Royal Ark, 
Came and sat down and were merry at mess 
As Fellow-Craftsmen-no more and no less.

The Quarries are hotter than Hiram's forge, 
No one is safe from the dog-whip's reach. 
It's mostly snowing up Lebanon gorge, 
And it's always blowing off Joppa beach; 

But once in so often, the messenger brings 
Solomon's mandate : "Forget these things! 
Brother to Beggars and Fellow to Kings, 
Companion of Princes-forget these things! 
Fellow-Craftsmen, forget these things!"

No comments:

Post a Comment