August 16, 2005

Jane went to Paradise...

Jane's Marriage

by Rudyard Kipling

Jane went to Paradise:
That was only fair.
Good Sir Walter followed her,
And armed her up the stair.
Henry and Tobias,
And Miguel of Spain,
Stood with Shakespeare at the top
To welcome Jane--

Then the Three Archangels
Offered out of hand
Anything in Heaven's gift
That she might command.
Azrael's eyes upon her,
Raphael's wings above,
Michael's sword against her heart,
Jane said: "Love."

Instantly the under-
Standing Seraphim
Laid their fingers on their lips
And went to look for him.
Stole across the Zodiac,
Harnessed Charles's Wain,
And whispered round the Nebulae
"Who loved Jane?"

In a private limbo
Where none had thought to look,
Sat a Hampshire gentleman
Reading of a book.
It was called Persuasion
And it told the plain
Story of the love between
Him and Jane.

He heard the question,
Circle Heaven through--
Closed the book and answered:
"I did -- and do!"
Quietly but speedily
(As Captain Wentworth moved)
Entered into Paradise
The man Jane loved!

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Notes from

Henry and Tobias: Apparently Henry Fielding 1707-1754 (author of Tom Jones) and Tobias Smollet 1721-1771 (author of Humphry Clinker).

"Miguel of Spain": Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 1547-1616, author of Don Quixote.

"Charles's Wain": Or "wagon", i.e. the Big Dipper.

"Quietly but speedily": The manner in which Captain Wentworth removed the child from Anne Elliot's back at Uppercross, in Persuasion.

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