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There is nothing of the supposed jingoist in Rudyard Kipling's detached overview of the rise and fall of civilisations and man's and nature's general inability to see the transience of things.


Cities and Thrones and Powers

Stand in Time's eye,

Almost as long as flowers,

Which daily die:

But, as new buds put forth

To glad new men,

Out of the spent and unconsidered Earth

The Cities rise again.

This season's Daffodil,

She never hears

What change, what chance, what chill,

Cut down last year's;

But with bold countenance,

And knowledge small,

Esteems her seven days' continuance

To be perpetual.

So Time that is o'er-kind

To all that be,

Ordains us e'en as blind,

As bold as she:

That in our very death,

And burial sure,

Shadow to shadow, well persuaded, saith,

'See how our works endure!'

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