Saturday, December 31, 2016

Rudyard Kipling's New Year's Resolutions

This amusing little poem by Rudyard Kipling first appeared in an Indian newspaper on January 1st 1887. It was not published in a collected edition until 2013, thus general readers were unaware of its existence.

Kipling was working for local newspapers in India at the time. He lists his bad habits, typical Victorian vices such as gambling, smoking, and dancing and flirting with young girls, and makes resolutions to give them up - with an exception for each one.

He knows that giving up a bad habit is much easier said than done; he decides to implement the resolutions one yearly step at a time, starting with the decision to stop playing cards for money.

He describes a process that many of us go through when making our own resolutions: we will give up eating sweets – except for chocolate; we will start taking more exercise – once we have got into the habit of eating much less sugar.

Such wisdom is unusual in young men; he was just a few days past his 21st birthday when this poem was published, 130 years ago.

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 cards like mine -
It guts a healthy 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 to 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 suspicious land.
But will I (here 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 tomorrow 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.
Here I except (cut out the names)
  x perfectly Platonic flames.

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

I am resolved - that vows like these,
  Though lightly made, are hard to keep;
Wherefore I'll take them by degrees,
  Lest my backslidings make me weep.
One vow a year will see me through;
  And I'll begin with Number Two.

From 100 Poems: Old and New 

I found an image of an old sea-mail envelope on which Kipling has typed the first two and the final verses of his poem. It is full of typing errors. As an example, he has put 'Expecting' instead of 'Excepting' in the first verse! Kipling visited Japan in 1889 and 1892 , so presumably was still working on implementing his resolutions year by year.



Here is Rudyard Kipling with his father circa 1890, just a few years after the poem was published.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Psychic shocks, black clouds and their consequences

Whenever an unpleasant event or painful incident occurs, I look back for a possible cause. As I have described in many other articles, there is often an energy vampire in the case. Being weighed down by a black cloud of bad energy and having had a jarring shock are other frequently-occurring features.

I have remembered a few more incidents; I am recounting these events in the hope of helping people who have had similar experiences but have not made the necessary connections.

I will start with two similar unwelcome encounters.

The first unwelcome person from the past
As I have described in a previous previous article, I fell and shattered my wrist after being in the company of an energy vampire.

People were very kind and helpful while the break was mending: they packed my shopping for me; I got a discount from one man just because my arm was in a sling. Then it all changed.

Friday, December 23, 2016

King George V's Christmas speech

King-Emperor George V made the first ever royal Christmas speech. It was broadcast on the radio to all the peoples of the British Empire on Christmas Day 1932.

For many years, the King could not be persuaded to give a personal message to his Empire on Christmas Day. This was due largely to his belief that he lacked the sophistication and flair of other broadcasters, and as the message would be personal in nature rather than a formal address he could not hide behind formality to combat his fears.

All that changed when, at the suggestion of Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, Rudyard Kipling was appointed to write the script. King George respected and admired both of these men, so the reluctant speaker was finally persuaded to deliver his message.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Born at the end of November

Some of the writers who have been mentioned in previous articles were born during the last two days of November.

Here is some information to mark the occasion:

Born on the 29th
November 29th is the 333rd day of the year (except in leap years).

Amos Bronson Alcott entered this world on the 29th November 1799; Louisa May Alcott, his daughter, was born in the early hours of the 29th in 1832; thus they were born exactly 33 years apart.

C. S. Lewis was born on the 29th November 1898.

Madeleine L’Engle was born on the 29th November 1918.

Born on the 30th
Angela Brazil was born on the 30th November 1868.

L. M. (Lucy Maud) Montgomery was born on the 30th November 1874.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Two similar painful incidents: curse or coincidence?

Thinking about a fairly recent painful incident has reminded me of something similar that happened a long time ago. What these events have in common is both the effect they had on me and the suspected cause:  I was hit where it hurt most and an energy vampire was involved. In both cases, administrators behaved unprofessionally and out of character.

The empty bank account
Many years ago, I got a horrible, jarring shock when a letter from my bank manager arrived out of the blue informing me that my account had gone overdrawn, and that while he was not unduly concerned about this he thought that I should be made aware of the problem.

I was always very careful with my financial affairs so I couldn’t understand how this could have happened - for the first time ever. I was expecting two big cheques from a client; they were overdue but I knew that I had enough money in my account to last until they arrived.

I found that another department in this bank had paid my income tax bill ahead of time, without letting me know that they were going to do this. They had wiped me out and made me go overdrawn. This was completely out of character: normally they would take around two weeks from the due date to pay the bill and would write to me first as a formality, saying that they hoped that this action would meet with my approval.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Two positive propositions

Reversing the minus sign
A while back, the idea came to me that some of the people who have a very negative effect on others could have an equally positive effect if they would only decide to clean up their act and be a force for good instead of evil.

The more innate power to influence people and events someone has, the greater their potential for either causing damage and destruction or making the world a better place.  The more power they have, the more people they can either save or lead to disaster.

This is similar to being overdrawn at the bank: if the sign were changed from minus to plus, a small deficit would become a small credit but a huge overdraft would become a huge credit balance.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Benjamin Franklin, the Washington Monument and synchronicity

I did some research on Benjamin Franklin yesterday evening, in preparation for the visit that I was intending to make to the London house where he lived for 18 years. This is Open House Weekend so entry is free, for the two days only.

I read about the bone fragments that were found during a renovation of the house. Some people believe that Franklin was involved in Satanic rituals! I followed some references to Freemasons, Illuminati, Washington and other usual suspects and ended up reading this:

“If the weather is clear, anyone standing at the centre of the bottom of the west Capitol steps and looking west at 6.45 pm on September 17th will see the Sun standing exactly on top of the Washington Monument. At that instant, the shadow of the Monument will pass straight down the Mall and its point will look like an arrow at the top of the Capitol steps, pointing to its doors."



I froze when I saw the date and time: I read this on September 17th, and the time on my laptop as I read it was exactly 6:45 p.m. I know that there is a time difference between Washington and London, but it is still quite a coincidence. 

This concept was new to me; I have been to the Washington Monument, but my visit was in the summer.

This was actually the second synchronous event I experienced yesterday. Something very interesting happened when I was visiting another open building in the morning; that is a story for another time perhaps. I wonder what is so special about September 17th – and what happens in Washington when it is a leap year!

Anyway, I went on a free guided tour of Benjamin Franklin House today; I saw the bones. The house is well worth a visit.


http://www.benjaminfranklinhouse.org/site/sections/default.htm


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Defeat, disappointment, disillusion and devastation

I have been following and posting about on the Conserpiracy forum the political campaign of would-be US senator Augustus Sol Invictus for some months now.

His recent defeat in the Libertarian primary election in Florida has stirred up some very painful memories; I have seen something like this campaign before. It is a very different story involving very different people, but there are a few familiar elements. There is also a big coincidence in the case.

I was involved with an Islamic political opposition movement a while back. I remember that the leaders referred to themselves by the titles they hoped to attain once they had overthrown an oppressive regime; they behaved as though they already occupied the positions that they were campaigning to achieve.

I remember the excitement when the main leader started to levitate; the members, supporters and followers were uplifted too. They felt part of something big and inspiring; they had goals and a mission to work for. The members called each other brother and sister.

The mood was very positive, euphoric even; victory seemed just around the corner. I remember the press releases, the statements, the attention, the publicity, the interviews and articles, the committees, the meetings and the conferences and speeches.  I remember the demonstrations in various capital cities and the concerts with famous artists, all very colourful with flags, flowers and stirring music… volunteers worked round the clock getting it all organised.

At the time, it seemed like the start of something very big. Looking back, I can see that the first year of campaigning was as good as it got.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Today is the 141st anniversary of John Buchan’s birthday

John Buchan was born on this day, August 26th, in 1875.

His birthplace was Perth, Scotland. The house where he was born fell into disrepair, but together with the house next door is being extensively refurbished and set to be turned into offices. Other than a small plaque, there will be no evidence remaining that John Buchan ever lived there.


John Buchan House, 20 York Place, Perth

The new Buchan Story Heritage Museum in Peebles explores his life and works. They are acquiring, preserving and displaying many interesting exhibits. Buchan was the Conservative candidate for Peebles, which is to the south of Edinburgh, and his family had many associations with the area.


The new Buchan Story Museum in Peebles

The John Buchan Way is a commemorative walking route from Peebles to the Borders.

I am not in a position to make pilgrimages to these far-away places to mark the occasion; London, where Buchan came to live early in 1900, is another matter. I am very familiar with many of the central London locations that he visited, lived and worked in and wrote about. I often go through and past them on the bus.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ayn Rand and the Age of Aquarius

We know that Ayn Rand had no time for anything mystical, so it is unlikely that she ever investigated astrology or studied the history of religions. She would have been dismissive of and shown contempt towards anyone who tried to talk to her about such topics.

This means that she probably didn’t know anything about the predicted Aquarian Age, where the influence of Aquarius is balanced by the opposing sign of Leo.

Despite this, there are some references to elements associated with the Age of Aquarius in her life and works.  Perhaps it is all just a coincidence - a very uncanny one though. Perhaps she unconsciously picked up something of the spirit of the coming new age. Perhaps she was an unwitting avatar for some of the subtle forces and unseen influences that affect mankind.

Ayn Rand was born under the sign of Aquarius; she was very logical and rational, which is a major feature of the sign. Her ideology was like a religion for her; we would expect a new religion for the new age to be idea-based rather than feeling-based as in the Age of Pisces.

By coincidence, one of her great novels is called The Fountainhead; the outpouring of water for mankind in the form of ideas is a very Aquarian image.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Yet another string of minor incidents

I recently experienced a string of minor incidents while out on a shopping trip.

The first one happened when the bus I was on swept past a bus stop without stopping. A woman who had wanted to get off there became very angry, all the more because the next stop was a fair distance away so she had a long walk back. She swore at the driver. She seemed a bit disturbed and disconnected, and her voice had a strange, unpleasant tone.

The next incident took place in a small supermarket. A woman left her queue to go back and get some item she had forgotten. She took her time, leaving a lot of people waiting. Someone mentioned this, quite politely, to her when she came back – without apologising for the delay - and she took offence and got into an argument with him. Staff had to intervene.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ayn Rand: chance events, lucky breaks and unseen influences

After reading through Barbara Branden’s biography The Passion of Ayn Rand yet again, I noticed that she had some lucky breaks in her life. Although she knew what she wanted and was very pro-active in preparing herself for and going about getting it, her life might have been very different and we might never have heard of her without some fortuitous incidents that helped her along her way and got her through some key stages in her life.

Reprieve from university expulsion
When Ayn Rand was studying at university in Russia, there was a plan to expel some socially undesirables. Ayn was on the list; she would not be permitted to attend any other college ever again; being without a degree would have been a death warrant for her future plans. Luckily, a delegation of foreign visitors heard about the proposed purge and they were very indignant about it. In an attempt to make a good impression on the prominent visitors, the expulsions were cancelled for some of the students, including Ayn. A reversal of this kind was a unique occurrence.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Robin Jarvis’s witchmaster Nathaniel Crozier: Part III

The return of Nathaniel Crozier
A Warlock in Whitby ended with the defeat and destruction of Nathaniel Crozier. He left two devastated people behind him; Jennet is shattered emotionally and Miss Boston physically.

The Whitby Child, the final book in the Whitby Witches trilogy, describes Crozier’s efforts to return from the dead. He has done a deal with an evil supernatural entity: he will be restored to life in return for Ben’s death.

Crozier uses his coven of witches to perform rituals and run his errands, which include more attempts to murder Ben. Jennet is drawn into the coven; Nathaniel has left her in such a bad state that she has no defences against their plots.

It all – eventually - ends well for most of the characters, after a lot of action, horrific incidents, suffering and supernatural intervention, both malign and benign.

Roselyn Crozier returns temporarily to get her revenge; Nathaniel Crozier is permanently destroyed. The members of his coven are released from his control to make new lives for themselves. Miss Boston, who early in the story recovers from her stroke, cheats death a few more times but her life finally comes to an end. She is 93 years old, and she is no longer needed to defend the children.

The future for Jennet and Ben is very good: their parents are restored to life.

The only thing that Nathaniel Crozier ever did to make the world a better place was to (inadvertently) redeem the Gregsons. There is a happy ending for this couple, who continued to be good neighbours to Miss Boston while she was still alive. They repair the relationship with their estranged son. They go to visit him and see their grandchildren for the first time.

Perhaps a horrible experience is necessary for some people to see the light, appreciate what they have and change for the better.

Reading of the huge improvement in the behaviour of the Gregsons is uplifting; reading the descriptions of the effect that Nathaniel Crozier has on women and girls, Jennet in particular, is horrifying and depressing. It adds to and confirms what we know about witches though.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Rudyard Kipling, nationalism and our children’s future

Many disappointed and resentful people who voted to Remain in the EU call those of us who voted to Leave stupid, uneducated, racists, fascists and bigots, traitors who have ruined this country’s and ”our children’s” future.

Emotional over-reactions, hysteria even, from self-declared broken-hearted people are common; attempts by such people to understand why rational people who are obviously not stupid or bigoted would vote to Leave are not. 

A prophetic poem by Rudyard Kipling helps to explain how people who support sovereignty and nationalism, people who think that enough is enough and prefer to live among their own kind, feel. He even mentions the influence of alien religions and the effect that too much diversity would have on children in the future: 

The Stranger within my Gate 

The Stranger within my gate, he may be true or kind,
But he does not talk my talk - I cannot feel his mind
I see the face and the eyes and mouth
But not the soul behind.

The men of my own stock, they may do ill or well,
But they tell the lies I am wonted to, they are used to the lies I tell;
And we do not need interpreters
When we go to buy and sell.

The stranger within my gates, he may be evil or good
But I cannot tell what powers control, what reasons sway his mood;
Nor when the Gods of his far-off land
Shall repossess his blood.

The men of my own stock, bitter bad they may be,
But at least they hear the things I hear, and see the things I see;
And whatever I think of them and their likes,
They think of the likes of me.

This was my father's belief, and this is also mine:
Let all the corn be one sheaf, and the grapes be all one vine
Ere our children's teeth are set on edge
By bitter bread and wine.

Rudyard Kipling

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Ayn Rand: some more thoughts about her life

Barbara Branden’s biography The Passion of Ayn Rand has inspired three articles so far. It is uncanny how so many aspects of her life resemble mine.

Some more similarities
Ayn Rand loved light classical music and operettas; so do I. When she first encountered them, they provided a magical form of temporary escape from a life of squalour, poverty, fear, pain and humiliation; this was my experience too. She would queue for hours in freezing weather to get the cheapest tickets, walking miles to save her fare money; I did exactly the same.

Ayn Rand pinned all her hopes for the future, for escape from a life of blank nothingness, for freedom, for any kind of life, on one thing: moving to the USA; I did the same with the profession of computing. She knew that she just had to go there; I knew that too.  The terrible suspense, the hopes, fears and disappointments and uncertainty that she had to live through before she finally got what she wanted are very familiar; I endured all that too.

She felt at home in New York as she loved the city lights, the city streets, the buildings and the big city atmosphere; I feel exactly the same about city life, as opposed to the suburbs and the countryside. Just knowing that it is all there, just outside the window, really does give fuel to the spirit.

While her mental energy was limitless, she always struggled with the problem of low physical energy; I have the same problem. She once worked continuously for 30 hours with no sleep; I used to do that all the time.


Ayn Rand almost never drank alcohol, disliking both the taste and the effect; I am the same. She disapproved strongly of the drug culture; it didn’t make sense to damage or destroy one’s most precious attribute, the clarity and precision of one’s rational mind; I share her views. She was a heavy smoker though; I have always been a non-smoker.


She had a few lessons, but was unable to learn how to drive a car; I have never even wanted to learn.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The life of Ayn Rand: some more familiar features

Barbara Branden’s biography The Passion of Ayn Rand provided the source material for the article about some familiar features from

There are many more examples of characteristics, viewpoints and experiences that Ayn Rand shares with other people, including me, to be found in this book.

Some more basic elements of Ayn Rand’s personality
There is little evidence that Ayn Rand possessed a sense of humour. She may not have had much common sense either. This is very reminiscent of Elizabeth Taylor’s character Angel.

She needed to control others.

She could be selfish and thoughtless, for example when she uprooted her husband from a life he loved and that suited him perfectly because she wanted to move to New York. This is very like what Angel did to her mother.

Just like Angel, Ayn Rand lacked introspection and showed no humility.

Ayn Rand considered herself to be the supreme authority on what had worth and what did not and what was right and what was wrong; she judged people by her own standards and was contemptuous and intolerant of and dismissive towards people who didn’t make the grade.

Where she saw no unusual intelligence – nor the capacity for dedicated productive work that she believed to be its consequence – she saw no value.

She had little understanding of family ties, emotional connections and people’s feelings. Very few people mattered to her in a personal way. To the end of her life, she dismissed anyone who had a deep need for the company of other people as being essentially without value.

Ayn Rand was passionately anti mysticism and pro reason.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Rudyard Kipling and the EU Exit Referendum

This poem was inspired by the First World War, but it seems very relevant now that a majority of people in England (and Wales), unlike Scotland and Northern Ireland, have voted in favour of leaving the EU. This despite the best efforts of the Remain brigade, who were confident of victory.

I think that Rudyard Kipling would have approved of the unexpected result. I think that he would have been a Brexit supporter.

The Beginnings

It was not part of their blood,
 It came to them very late
With long arrears to make good,
  When the English began to hate.

They were not easily moved,
 They were icy-willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
 Ere the English began to hate.

Their voices were even and low,
 Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show,
 When the English began to hate.

It was not preached to the crowd,
 It was not taught by the State.
No man spoke it aloud,
 When the English began to hate.

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

From A Diversity of Creatures by Rudyard Kipling


Yesterday, the hatred was directed towards injustice, bureaucracy, diversity and political correctness that have gone too far, globalisation, the erosion of nationalism, “leftie luvvies”, the ignoring of the interests of native English people…




Friday, June 17, 2016

The childhood of Ayn Rand: some very familiar features

We may not be as unique, unusual or individual as we believe we are.

I have seen many examples online of people saying such things as, “I could have written that myself” and, “Are you me?” and, “That is a perfect description of MY mother.” They seem surprised to find that there are others out there who are just like them or who have had exactly the same experiences.

I have been reading about the early life of Ayn Rand. Her generation, nationality and family situation are very different from mine, yet much of her early life seems like a description of my early life. Many of her characteristics, views and experiences are very familiar; some of it reminds me of what I have read about the early lives of some writers of interest.

Some basic elements of her personality
In her biography The Passion of Ayn Rand, Barbara Branden tells us that Ayn Rand was not very interested in other children and didn’t fit in with or get on well with them; I was much the same: on the whole, they seemed alien, boring, incomprehensible and sometimes dangerous.

She was very serious and intense, too much so for the liking of her fellow schoolgirls. I was too. She felt that she failed them by not reacting, responding or behaving according to their expectations. Some of us are wired very differently on the inside from the majority of our contemporaries and just cannot fit in with them.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Two bus breakdowns: accidental or not?

I was feeling very worried and under the weather a few weeks ago. I went for a series of long bus rides just to get away from things and see some new areas, buildings, houses and parks. Perhaps I should have stayed in until the bad feelings passed.

I was on a single-decker bus that stopped at the foot of a steep hill to pick up some people. When the driver tried to move on, it just made strange noises and juddered a bit. He was unable to get it going again, despite making every effort. He radioed for help, and was instructed to get us all off so that we could catch the next bus.

As the driver stepped off the bus, he turned to me and said:

“This is all your fault!”

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Robin Jarvis’s witchmaster Nathaniel Crozier: Part II

The end of Nathaniel Crozier’s visit to Whitby
We left Nathaniel Crozier just after he had tortured and killed poor old Mr Roper.

His next evil deed is to send the horrible fish demon he has secured to his service to kill Ben, so that he can then destroy the magical artefact that Mr Roper passed on to the little boy.

Luckily, the monster follows the wrong trail; it kills another boy instead. ‘By chance’, this is someone who has bullied Ben in the past.

Miss Boston returns from a harrowing visit to London, and finds that all hell has broken loose because Nathaniel Crozier has destroyed two of Whitby’s guardians. Once again, she decides that she must confront an evil newcomer who is about to destroy Whitby. This at the age of 92: if she isn’t a good role model for older ladies, I don’t know who is.

Miss Boston knows that she has taken on what looks like an impossible task, but she sees it as a good sign, a sign of weakness, that the appalling man wanted her out of the way and used his agents to try to destroy her in London.

She has an advantage in that Nathaniel Crozier underestimates her. He never has a good word to say about anyone - he called his wife Roselyn stupid and greedy and Miss Boston an odious hag - and he thinks of Miss Boston as a senile, dabbling amateur.

Crozier would get on well with Lord Voldemort, who also underestimates the opposition and believes that “there is no good and evil, there is nothing but power and those too weak to seek it”. Crozier boasts of being a master of control and domination; he scorns limits and warnings – they are for the weak.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Injury and revenge: Part II a special case

I had a light-bulb moment a while back; it enabled me to look at some very painful experiences in a new light.

Robert Sheckley describes such moments of illumination far better than I ever could:

A thought had crossed his mind, a thought so tremendously involved, so meaningful, so far-reaching in its implications that he was stirred to his depths. Caswell tried desperately to shake off the knowledge it brought. But the thought, permanently etched upon his memory, would not depart.”

From Bad Medicine, available to read online in Project Gutenberg.
This is a very amusing story about someone who, when prevented from taking revenge in one way for his – completely imaginary – injuries, finds another way to destroy his enemy.

The revolutionary idea that slipped into my mind was that the injury was not all one way; it was symmetric.  Although some people, perhaps operating under the control of unseen influences, had devastated me by leading me to believe I was going to get something I really wanted then taking it away at the last moment, I had in a sense done exactly the same thing to them – or to whatever was working through them.

A particular type of injury
Some people have been treated very badly; they have received such a shattering blow that they feel they have been smashed to pieces, impaled on the cutting edge of reality, attacked by a hit and run driver and left to die. This devastating, shattering blow has been described as a kick from the devil’s hoof, which is exactly what it feels like.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Rudyard Kipling and Sol Invictus

After reading A Letter to the People of Europe from the US politician Augustus Sol Invictus,  I created a thread about it on the Conservative Conspiracy  website as it contains some views shared by many members of that site.

Since then, I and others have found and posted many relevant references to Sol Invictus, the Invictus poem, sun gods, sun cults, sun symbols, black suns, freemasons, sunflowers, neo-fascist groups, metal music, Constantine and other associated topics and people…everything is connected.

Now Rudyard Kipling joins the party. As he is featured on this blog, the connections are best presented in an article here.

Rudyard Kipling and Invictus
Rudyard Kipling was a friend of William E. Henley, the author of the inspirational Invictus that was President John F. Kennedy’s favourite poem and that has been featured in the news recently because of its association with Prince Harry’s Invictus Games.

Henley and Kipling were united in their admiration of the Empire and detestation of the ‘aesthetic’ style in literature and life. They exchanged books and many letters. After receiving a book from him, Kipling wrote to Henley:

“You have been where I have yet to go so I dare not ask why you are so tired. When you get my stuff you will see how far I have walked and where.”

This suggests to me that Henley inspired and was a good influence on Kipling. Invictus was first published in 1888, with Rudyard Kipling’s inspirational poem If appearing in1910. Perhaps the one inspired the other.

The Invictus poem has its critics, especially Christians who reject the idea of individualism and dislike the apparent paganism. By coincidence,  one of them wrote this, linking the two men:
“…
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

This poem is either the most laughable of self-parodized individualism -- akin to the self-retrospection of Robert Browning's better-known and critically acclaimed monologues, or the most lamentable of self-congratulatory paeans, like the insufferable racist rants of Rudyard Kipling.”

Rudyard Kipling and sun symbols
Rudyard Kipling was strongly influenced by Indian culture; he used swastikas as good luck symbols in his books until the rise of Nazism made this inappropriate – although their sun wheels revolved in the opposite direction.

Sol invictus in Rudyard Kipling’s poetry
Mithras was an early Roman god of the sun, who was born around the time of the winter solstice (Dies Natalis Solis Invicti) and then experienced a resurrection around the spring equinox. He was the god of soldiers in particular.

Rudyard Kipling is reported to have been fascinated by Mithraism. He wrote some very good stories about the Roman soldiers in Britain, and he wrote a very good poem about the invincible sun god.

A Song to Mithras
Hymn of the XXX Legion: circa A.D. 350
"On the Great Wall" - Puck of Pook's Hill

Mithras, God of the Morning, our trumpets waken the Wall!
“Rome is above the Nations, but thou art over all!”
Now as the names are answered, and the guards are marched away,
Mithras, also a soldier, give us strength for the day!

Mithras, God of the Noontide, the heather swims in the heat.
Our helmets scorch our foreheads, our sandals burn our feet.
Now in the ungirt hour – now lest we blink and drowse,
Mithras, also a soldier, keep us true to our vows!

Mithras, God of the Sunset, low on the Western main –
Thou descending immortal, immortal to rise again!
Now when the watch is ended, now when the wine is drawn,
Mithras, also a soldier, keep us pure till the dawn!

Mithras, God of the Midnight, here where the great Bull dies,
Look on Thy children in darkness. Oh, take our sacrifice!
Many roads Thou hast fashioned – all of them lead to Light!
Mithras, also a soldier, teach us to die aright.