The New Knighthood

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The New Knighthood  (1909) 
by Rudyard Kipling
From Actions and Reactions (1909), where it accompanies the story A Deal in Cotton.


Who gives him the Bath?
     "I," said the wet,
     Rank Jungle-sweat,
"I'll give him the Bath!"

Who'll sing the psalms?
     "We," said the Palms.
     "Ere the hot wind becalms,
We'll sing the psalms."

Who lays on the sword?
     "I," said the Sun,
     "Before he has done,
I'll lay on the sword."

Who fastens his belt?
     "I," said Short-Rations,
     "I know all the fashions
Of tightening a belt!"

Who buckles his spur?
     "I," said his Chief,
     Exacting and brief,
"I'll give him the spur."

Who'll shake his hand?
     "I," said the Fever,
     "And I'm no deceiver,
I'll shake his hand."

Who brings him the wine?
     "I," said Quinine,
     "It's a habit of mine,
I'll come with his wine."

Who'll put him to proof?
     "I," said All Earth,
     "Whatever he's worth,
I'll put to the proof."

Who'll choose him for Knight?
     "I," said his Mother,
     "Before any other,
My very own knight!"

And after this fashion, adventure to seek,
Was Sir Galahad made — as it might be last week.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1936, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 75 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.