February 4, 2006AsideForeign AffairsSecurity

Remembering Kipling

Dane-Geld, A.D. 980-1016, by Rudyard Kipling

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation

To call upon a neighbour and to say: –

We invaded you last night–we are quite prepared to fight,

Unless you pay us cash to go away.”

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,

And the people who ask it explain

That you’ve only to pay em the Dane-geld

And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,

To puff and look important and to say: –

Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.

We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;

But we’ve proved it again and again,

That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld

You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,

For fear they should succumb and go astray;

So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,

You will find it better policy to say: –

We never pay any-one Dane-geld,

No matter how trifling the cost;

For the end of that game is oppression and shame,

And the nation that pays it is lost!”

Related Link: Wikipedia’s article on Danegeld

If you would like to share or comment on this, please discuss it on my GitHub Previous
The criminal labour mafia
Sunday Levity: Prabhakaran’s fast

© Copyright 2003-2024. Nitin Pai. All Rights Reserved.