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Jubal and Tubal Cain

by Rudyard Kipling, 1919

Jubal sang of the Wrath of God
  And the curse of thistle and thorn—
But Tubal got him a pointed rod,
  And scrabbled the earth for corn.
  Old—old as that early mould,
    Young as the sprouting grain—
  Yearly green is the strife between
    Jubal and Tubal Cain!

Jubal sang of the new-found sea,
  And the love that its waves divide—
But Tubal hollowed a fallen tree
  And passed to the further side.
  Black—black as the hurricane-wrack,
    Salt as the under-main—
  Bitter and cold is the hate they hold—
    Jubal and Tubal Cain!

Jubal sang of the golden years
  When wars and wounds shall cease—
But Tubal fashioned the hand-flung spears
  And showèd his neighbours peace.
  New—new as the Nine point Two,
    Older than Lamech’s slain—
  Roaring and loud is the feud avowed
    Twix’ Jubal and Tubal Cain!

Jubal sang of the cliffs that bar
  And the peaks that none may crown—
But Tubal clambered by jut and scar
  And there he builded a town.
  High—high as the snowsheds lie,
    Low as the culverts drain—
  Wherever they be they can never agree—
    Jubal and Tubal Cain!

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

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