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James I

by Rudyard Kipling, 1919


The CHILD of Mary Queen of Scots,
  A shifty mother’s shiftless son,
Bred up among intrigues and plots,
  Learnèd in all things, wise in none.
Ungainly, babbling, wasteful, weak,
  Shrewd, clever, cowardly, pedantic,
The sight of steel would blanch his cheek,
  The smell of baccy drive him frantic.
He was the author of his line—
  He wrote that witches should be burnt;
He wrote that monarchs were divine,
  And left a son who—proved they weren’t!

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

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