2020/08/11

Virtues of the Awakened Saxon

Wrath of the Awakened Saxon

Kipling's famous--some might say infamous--poem "The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon" has gained a great deal of traction in dissident circles.

I maintain that a major reason why this poem has resonated with the current generations of young men on the right is that it highlights the masculine virtues they were never taught.

What follows is a breakdown of the poem, annotated with the particular masculine virtues exemplified by each verse.
It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late,
With long arrears to make good,
When the Saxon began to hate.
Patience: the virtue that empowers us to endure suffering as dictated by reason until the source of the suffering can be reasonably overcome.
They were not easily moved,
They were icy -- willing to wait
Temperance: the virtue which grants us mastery of our passions in order to regulate them according to right reason.
Till every count should be proved,
Ere the Saxon began to hate.
Justice: the virtue which enables us to ensure that each receives his due according to his desserts as discerned by the light of reason.
Their voices were even and low.
Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show
When the Saxon began to hate.
Humility: the virtue which leads us to true self-knowledge and helps us to act accordingly, without vanity or pride.
It was not preached to the crowd.
It was not taught by the state.
No man spoke it aloud
When the Saxon began to hate.
Wisdom: This virtue draws the will to embrace truth apprehended by the intellect and act on it.
It was not suddenly bred.
It will not swiftly abate.
Through the chilled years ahead,
When Time shall count from the date
That the Saxon began to hate.
Fortitude: the virtue which empowers us to stand firm in the face of physical, moral, and spiritual opposition.

Kipling was prescient when he foresaw that these virtues will be necessary to see us through the chilled years ahead. Let us pray for their increase.

And let us not fund people who hate us.

Don't Give Money to People Who Hate You - Brian Niemeier

24 comments:

  1. For those interested in an audio version, here’s my own reading. Also, L. Jagi Lamplighter (Mrs. Wright) joined us for a discussion of the same.

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    1. Oops, I just realized I made a mistake there. Mrs. Wright joined us for "Dane-Geld", not "Wrath".

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  2. The original Kipling version, "The Beginnings", is on Project Gutenberg:
    https://www.gutenberg.org/files/13085/13085-h/13085-h.htm#page443

    I think the "Saxon" version reads better. Does anyone know who changed it?

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    1. I believe it was done quite recently, perhaps by nationalist Britons who wished to use a more specific term than 'English,' now that 'English' seems to include Everyone-else-who's-move-there-recently.

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    2. If you want to see this at its full absurdity, check out this roundtable on John Cleese's claim that London is no longer English:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I83_0JcU36I

      Best part (beyond not having a single Anglo-Saxon on the panel) is a first-generation immigrant Russian saying that he is not English over the fierce objections of the rest of the panel.

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  3. To quote St Paul, "the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light" (Romans 13.12)

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  4. If you're attributing it to Kipling, you should use the proper title of "The Beginning" and "English" rather than "Saxon".

    Improper attribution is of course a horrible thing.

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    1. And of course I missed the "s" at the end of "Beginnings".

      Pedantry doesn't pay, kids!

      However, seeing the Saxon variant is one way to recognize either cranks with no intellectual curiosity or new folks who can not see. Although plenty of people just like how it sounds and are incurious about sourcing.

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    2. On the contrary, pedantry pays, but not very well. I know this because I married a teacher, and later became one myself.

      It occurred to me after I posted my first supposition on the origin of the Saxon variant that it might not have come from a Briton at all, but from someone of generically British abstraction. I'm of Hiberno-British descent, but cannot be more specific than 'definitely partly Irish, and probably partly Welsh or English.' Being here since the 17th century does make Old World heritage harder to trace.

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    3. Interesting that you assume it was "Briton" or "someone of generically British abstraction".

      An obvious implication from changing "English" to "Saxon" is to shift it to a more pro-Germanic angle (the original in context very obviously referring to hate *towards* the Germans). Considering that the promoters before this hit the dissident right tended towards a certain...persuasion...that may be relevant.

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    4. I completely overlooked that obvious implication, honestly. It hadn't occurred to me that someone might turn the poem inside-out like that.

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  5. It's a poem that's easy to like, but it is in fact anti-German pro-war propaganda, all the more insidious given the Germanic historical roots of the Saxons.
    Kipling was an a liberal warmongering imperialist POS. It's okay to enjoy his writing, just know what you're reading.

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    1. What an insulting comment! "Just k now what you're reading" - thanks, the text is right there. I read it.

      "It's okay to enjoy his writing" - why are you even saying this? Who implied we needed permission to enjoy his writing in the first place?

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    2. Kipling was human, and therefore imperfect. However, I've read "The Gods of Copybook Headings" and "The Stranger" and "The City of Brass" and "Hymn Before Action" and "Recessional" and I can say without reservation that I would much rather be on Kipling's side than yours.

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    3. Kipling, an Englishman, wrote "The Beginnings" while England was at war with the Germans--who, not incidentally, had killed his son. His version referred only to "the English" not "the Saxon", so there's nothing insidious about it.

      If you want to be taken seriously, try doing five minutes of research before giving moral lectures on other people's blogs.

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    4. @Zaklog, I'm quite partial to "If" and the one that ends "Beware my country when my country grows polite."

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    5. "Liberal Warmongering Imperialist" describes Germany's role in both world wars - which they started and perpetuated - quite perfectly. Although they were really more progressive than liberal, I suppose. Projection or inversion, I wonder?

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    6. @Reader, Apparently the title of that one is "Et Dona Ferentes"(Bearing Gifts). Have you seen my performances of Kipling poems? Is that a suggestion for an upcoming one?

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  6. English I can get behind I suppose, I'm still dirty at the Saxons for stealing my island and being filthy pagans.
    (Actually probably as much Saxon as I am Celt, but it's a fun game I like to play if people call me Anglo. I go into a race-baited rage about how I suppose we "all look alike".)

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  7. Somewhere in his apologia for Catholicism, John Wright remarked that heresies seem to come in pairs. For example, the heresy that denies the divinity of Christ has an opposite in the denial of His Humanity, with the truth of the matter being the narrow way between them: that Christ is both God and Man. I think that pattern might also apply to vices masquerading as virtues. For example, if we mistake Kipling's warning for a solution, we rush from cowardice masquerading as charity to wrath masquerading as courage, and continue down into horror by a different path:

    It was not suddenly bred.
    It will not swiftly abate.
    Through the chilled years ahead,
    When Time shall count from the date
    That the Saxon began to hate.

    The real path through and beyond this valley of shadow must involve both the theological and the cardinal virtues: the narrow gate and the hard road, as it were.

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    1. I don't see any problem with anger at wickedness or betrayal. Provided it is, in fact, directed at the wicked or the traitor, in measure of their wickedness or betrayal, not merely a spasm of rage at a target of convenience. There is after all
      "8a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace."
      But neither hatred nor war are things to be pursued for their own sake.

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