A Creed

I HOLD that when a person dies
His soul returns again to earth;
Arrayed in some new flesh-disguise
Another mother gives him birth.
With sturdier limbs and brighter brain
The old soul takes the road again.

Such is my own belief and trust;
This hand, this hand that holds the pen,
Has many a hundred times been dust
And turned, as dust, to dust again;
These eyes of mine have blinked and shown
In Thebes, in Troy, in Babylon.

All that I rightly think or do,
Or make, or spoil, or bless, or blast,
Is curse or blessing justly due
For sloth or effort in the past.
My life's a statement of the sum
Of vice indulged, or overcome.

I know that in my lives to be
My sorry heart will ache and burn,
And worship, unavailingly,
The woman whom I used to spurn,
And shake to see another have
The love I spurned, the love she gave.

And I shall know, in angry words,
In gibes, and mocks, and many a tear,
A carrion flock of homing-birds,
The gibes and scorns I uttered here.
The brave word that I failed to speak
Will brand me dastard on the cheek.

And as I wander on the roads
I shall be helped and healed and blessed;
Dear words shall cheer and be as goads
To urge to heights before unguessed.
My road shall be the road I made;
All that I gave shall be repaid.

So shall I fight, so shall I tread,
In this long war beneath the stars;
So shall a glory wreathe my head,
So shall I faint and show the scars,
Until this case, this clogging mould,
Be smithied all to kingly gold.

by John Masefield

Comments (13)

A creed by john Masefield is supporting philosophy of Hinduism! It is a nice composition to read!
The link to rebirth lays deeper than religious assumtions and can barely be expressed out of eastern custom&culture, which is often synonymous to Bhudism. The word is 'moksh' a sanskrit word for destiny or I say, to fit in the precise slot of a jigsaw puzzle. And so long as one doesn't fit in there, one's supposed to be stuck in the laybrinth of rebirth and death...which is tediously an Hindu ideology, mistaken for Bhudist wisdom_ as Bhudisim is an unparalled pathway of Hinduism, generated to the west by english imperialists from Afganistan, Srilanka, India, Bangladesh and China.
I don't know, or should say, believe in rebirths... But I know 1 thing for sure... If I do something wrong, I have to face the same(multiplied by 10) ... In this very birth.. So be it the instance of rebirth..or else.. The magnet of sin always attracts sorrow.. Isn't it! !
It is akin to hindu mythology which may have influenced the poet.
Marvellous poem. I like it.
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