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General Joubert

by Rudyard Kipling, 1919


(Died, South African War, March 27, 1900)

WITH those that bred, with those that loosed the strife,
  He had no part whose hands were clear of gain;
But subtle, strong, and stubborn, gave his life
  To a lost cause, and knew the gift was vain.

Later shall rise a people, sane and great,
  Forged in strong fires, by equal war made one;
Telling old battles over without hate—
  Not least his name shall pass from sire to son.

He may not meet the onsweep of our van
  In the doomed city when we close the score;
Yet o’er his grave—his grave that holds a man—
  Our deep-tongued guns shall answer his once more!

Published in Rudyard Kipling's Verse: Inclusive Edition, 1885-1918

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