Gethsemane

1914-18


The Garden called Gethsemane
In Picardy it was,
And there the people came to see
The English soldiers pass.
We used to pass -- we used to pass
Or halt, as it might be,
And ship our masks in case of gas
Beyond Gethsemane.

The Garden called Gethsemane,
It held a pretty lass,
But all the time she talked to me
I prayed my cup might pass.
The officer sat on the chair,
The men lay on the grass,
And all the time we halted there
I prayed my cup might pass.

It didn't pass -- it didn't pass --
It didn't pass from me.
I drank it when we met the gas
Beyond Gethsemane.

by Rudyard Kipling

Comments (1)

Some very good biblical allusions in this poem-Gethsemane, where Christ suffered before the crucifixion; He also prayed that his cup might pass. It did not. This is woven in with the English soldier in Picardy, who loves a lass, but his cup of death will not pass either. A virtuoso poem.