Gethsemane

Original Text: 
Rudyard Kipling's Verse: Definitive Edition (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1940): 98.
1The Garden called Gethsemane
3And there the people came to see
4   The English soldiers pass.
5We used to pass--we used to pass
6   Or halt, as it might be,
7And ship our masks in case of gas
8   Beyond Gethsemane.
9The Garden called Gethsemane,
10   It held a pretty lass,
11But all the time she talked to me
12   I prayed my cup might pass.
13The officer sat on the chair,
14   The men lay on the grass,
15And all the time we halted there
16   I prayed my cup might pass.
17It didn't pass--it didn't pass--
18   It didn't pass from me.
19I drank it when we met the gas
20   Beyond Gethsemane!

Notes

2] Gethsemane / In Picardy: Kipling refers to World War I French departments in Picardy such as the Somme as Gethsemane, the garden in which Jesus prayed that God his Father would take away his cup of suffering and death. Kipling's son died in battle. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1914
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2007
Rhyme: