To R. K.

Original Text: 
J. K. Stephen, Lapsus Calami, new edn. (Cambridge: Macmillan and Bowes, 1891), p. 3. PR 5473 S4L3 1891. Robarts Library.
     As long I dwell on some stupendous
     And tremendous (Heaven defend us!)
     Penman's latest piece of graphic.
2Which shall rid us from the curse
3Of a prose which knows no reason
4And an unmelodious verse:
5When the world shall cease to wonder
6At the genius of an Ass,
7And a boy's eccentric blunder
8Shall not bring success to pass:
9When mankind shall be delivered
10From the clash of magazines,
11And the inkstand shall be shivered
12Into countless smithereens:
13When there stands a muzzled stripling,
14Mute, beside a muzzled bore:
15When the Rudyards cease from kipling


1] R. K. is Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), poet and novelist, with such popular poems as "If" and novels as The Jungle Book (1894) and Kim (1901). Stephen's epigraph is from Browning's "Waring," lines 52-56, a poem from which Rudyard quoted in "Slaves of the Lamp -- Part I," in his Stalky and Co. (London: Macmillan, 1899), which is available in Project Gutenberg (identification courtesy of James Fulford, Nov. 8, 2002). Back to Line
16] Haggards: Sir Henry Rider Haggard (1856-1925), author of such popular novels as King Solomon's Mines (1886) and She (1887). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Cambridge Review (Feb. 1891)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.