Rudyard Kipling Opines on Jane Austen

Jane's Marriage

Jane went to Paradise: That was only fair. Good Sir Walter met her first, And led her up the stair. Henry and Tobias, And Miguel of Spain, Stood with Shakespeare at the top To welcome Jane -- Then the Three Archangels Offered out of hand, Anything in Heaven's gift That she might command. Azrael's eyes upon her, Raphael's wings above, Michael's sword against her heart, Jane said: "Love." Instantly the under- standing Seraphim Laid their fingers on their lips And went to look for him. Stole across the Zodiac, Harnessed Charles's Wain, And whispered round the Nebulae "Who loved Jane?" In a private limbo Where none had thought to look, Sat a Hampshire gentleman Reading of a book. It was called Persuasion, And it told the plain Story of the love between Him and Jane. He heard the question Circle Heaven through -- Closed the book and answered: "I did -- and do!" Quietly but speedily (As Captain Wentworth moved) Entered into Paradise The man Jane loved! Epigraph to "The Janeites" Jane lies in Winchester -- blessed be her shade! Praise the Lord for making her, and her for all she made! And while the stones of Winchester, or Milsom Street, remain, Glory, love, and honour unto England's Jane! This poem is the start of Rudyard Kipling's story The Janeites. For the full text, read it online here Enjoyed this article? Browse our book shop at

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