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Monday, January 1, 2018

Rudyard Kipling's little known poem "New Year's Resolutions"

Jstor: On January 1st, 1887, Rudyard Kipling (wiki) explored the human desire to make New Year’s resolutions in an uncollected poem published in the Civil and Military Gazette.

New Year’s Resolutions.

I am resolved throughout the year
To lay my vices on the shelf
A godly, sober course to steer
And love my neighbours as myself –
Excepting always two or three
Whom I detest as they hate me.

I am resolved – that whist is low —
Especially with cars like mine –
It guts a health Bank-book – so
These earthly pleasures I resign.
Except – and here I see no sin –
When asked by others to “cut in”.

I am resolved – no more o’ dance
With ingenues – so help me Venus!
It gives the Chaperone her chance
For hinting Heaven knows what between us.
The Ballroom and the Altar stand
Too close in this suspicous land.
(N. B.) But I will (her ten names) abandon?
No, while I have a leg to stand on!

I am resolved – to sell my horses,
They cannot stay, they will not go,
They lead me into evil courses
Wherefore I mean to part with – No!
Cut out that resolution – I’ll
Try Jilt to-morrow on the mile.

I am resolved – to flirt no more,
It leads to strife and tribulation;
Not that I used to flirt before,
But as a bar against temptation.
Her I except (cut out the names)
Perfectly Platonic flames.

I am resolved – to drop my smokes,
The Trichi has an evil taste
I cannot buy the brand of Oakes
But lest I take a step in haste,
And so upset my health, I choose a
“More perfect way: in pipes and Poona.

I am resolved – that vows like these
Though lightly made, are hard to keep
Wherefore I’ll take them by degrees,
Lest my back-slidings make me weep.
One vow a year will see me through;
And I’ll begin with number two.

Rudyard Kipling.

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