KIPLING, RUDYARD (1865-1936)
Lot 260
Sold for £5,250 (US$ 8,782) inc. premium
Lot Details
KIPLING, RUDYARD (1865-1936)
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT, IN HIS NEAT PRINT HAND, OF HIS POEM 'THE SPIES' MARCH', signed ('Rudyard Kipling'), 78 lines, the opening prose 'Extract from private letter' marked to be in small type presumably for the printer, and with a five line introduction in prose, 2 pages, removed from a pad, serrated edge at head, very slight browning down right-hand margins, quarto [1911]

There are no leaders to lead us to honour, and yet without leaders we sally;
Each man reporting for duty alone - out of sight - out of reach of his fellow.
There are no bugles to call the battalion, and yet without bugles we rally
From the ends of the earth to the ends of the earth to follow the standard of Yellow!
Fall in! O Fall in! O Fall in!.

Not where the squadrons mass,
Not where the bayonets shine,
Not where the big shell [sic] shout as they pass
Over the firing-line;
Not where the wounded are,
Not where a handful lie
Killed in the cleanly game of war -
That is no place for a spy!
O princes, thrones and powers, your battles are not ours,
There is no work for a spy!...

Kipling's sardonic poem The Spies' March was separately published in New York in 1911 to secure American copyright. In England it was published as an illustrated pamphlet for The Literary Pageant also in 1911 'in aid of the Prince Francis of Teck Memorial Fund for the Middlesex Hospital.' Kipling had given an address in the hospital in 1908 and he died there in 1936. Spies and spying were, of course, characters and a craft of great interest to Kipling.

There are some thirty verbal differences in this manuscript from the version printed in Rudyard Kipling's Verse: Definitive Edition, including 'Where the pyres are blazing high' for 'Where the burning corpses lie'; the refrains are different from those in the printed version and this manuscript has a four-line finale not in the printed text.

No other examples of Kipling's print hand are noted as having appeared at auction; perhaps he employed it knowing that it was for the use of American compositors.

No other manuscripts of this poem are recorded by Barbara Rosenbaum and Pamela White or in Location Register.

REFERENCES: Index of English Literary Manuscripts, Volume IV, 1800-1900, compiled by Barbara Rosenbaum and Pamela White, 1990; Rudyard Kipling's Verse: Definitive Edition, 1949; Location Register of Twentieth-Century Literary Manuscripts and Letters, 2 volumes, 1988.
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