Kipling is reviled by liberal literature teachers as a “writer of jingles.”
They ridicule him as not worth the time of “those who can read.”
I simply hope that someday they’ll be able to read well enough to
appreciate the utter genius of his work.
Of course, it requires the reader be not only literate, but versed in
many college professors are both?
quite sure that this work, one of many from The Master, won’t bring tears to
the eyes of the anti-gun nuts.
us pity them this lack of sensitivity.
Michael Z. Williamson
Army Musket -- 1700-1815
the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
Bess was a partner whom none could despise--
out-spoken, flinty-lipped brazen-faced jade,
With a habit of looking men
straight in the eyes--
At Blenheim and Ramilies fops would confess
They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.
her sight was not long and her weight was not small,
Yet her actions were winning, her
language was clear;
And everyone bowed as she opened the ball
On the arm of some high-gaitered,
Half Europe admitted the striking success
Of the dances and routs that were given by Brown Bess.
ruffles were turned into stiff leather stocks,
And people wore pigtails instead of
Brown Bess never altered her iron-grey locks.
She knew she was valued for more
than her looks.
powder and patches was always my dress,
And I think I am killing enough,” said Brown Bess.
she followed her red-coats, whatever they did,
From the heights of Quebec to the
plains of Assaye,
From Gibraltar to Acre, Cape Town and Madrid,
And nothing about her was changed
on the way;
(But most of the empire which now we possess
Was won through those years by old-fashioned Brown Bess.)
stubborn retreat or in stately advance,
From the Portugal coast to the
cork-woods of Spain,
She had puzzled some excellent Marshals of France
‘Till none of them wanted to meet
But later, near Brussels, Napoleon--no less--
Arranged for a Waterloo Ball with Brown Bess.
had danced till the dawn of that terrible day--
She danced till the dusk of more
And before her linked squares his battalions gave way,
And her long fierce quadrilles put
his lancers to flight:
And when his gilt carriage drove off in the press,
“I have danced my last dance for the world!” said Brown Bess.
you go to museums--there’s one in Whitehall---
Where old weapons are shown with
their names writ beneath,
You will find her, upstanding, her back to the wall,
As stiff as a ramrod, the flint in
And if ever we English had reason to bless
Any arm save our mothers’, that arm is Brown Bess!