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The Rt. Hon Neville Chamberlain (E. M. Rudland, 1938)

Neville ChamberlainSome like to write about the beauty of nature, others speak of love, yet others of the mysteries of human existence; E. M. Rudland however, was inspired to pen lyrics about the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, and his now infamous meeting with Hitler which promised a lasting peace but - as Chamberlain underestimated the Nazis' cynicism and duplicity - proved merely another step on the way to war.

In his enthusiasm for what he saw as a historic moment of triumph, Rudland also composed poems about Chamberlain's wife and his cousin Norman Chamberlain. Worse, in a horribly ironic stroke of misjudgement given what was to come, Rudland also included in this volume a piece entitled "Hear, O Israel!" which celebrates the Jewish people and their special relationship with God.

The fact that the whole thing is beautifully printed and presented only makes it the more ghastly.

The Rt. Hon. Neville Chamberlain

We give all thanks and praise To Thee, who from the far-off days, Hast given, at striking of the hour, To wield, to poise the sword of power, To us, a man for Strength and stay. Uphold him, unto Thee we pray. Take Thou our thanks, O God! that still Hast given the man to work Thy will. Hast given him strength to cleave the air, To ceaseless service. Yea! to bear The burden of mankind on him, Midst shadows dark and hope grown dim.

Mrs Neville Chamberlain and Other Poems

Of single heart, of lofty aim, Calm speech and truth. Strong to proclaim Peace to the faltering peoples, yet Resolving righteous course be set; Tireless, unsparing self. Accord Thy Strength to him, we pray Thee, Lord. Giver of mighty our God of old! Till all the Stressful day was told, The man unto the hour took heart, Nor ceased to Strive. Alone, apart, Though all men slept, he might not cease, Who toiled for Thy great gift of peace. Though all men else lost hope, and Strife Loomed o'er the peoples. Death and life In balance. Time too short a thing To give man any comforting. Unto the linking hour he stirred, Assured at last would come Thy word. Though all seemed vain, while yet he spake, The hope of all mankind at stake. Came hush—came whisper—silence tense— A message read—an awed suspense— Relief and cheer. At last! At last! Peace dawning. Yea! strife's shadow past Once more he cleft the air, but now With gladness on his tired brow. And great land's leaders met, and wrought Man's peace, alone the aim he sought. We thank Thee, God! that in our span Hast given us in our need, a man.

 

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on 26 Aug 2008 - 01:31 Permalink

Oh my God, that is truly awful. I mean . . . I expected it to be bad? I now feel cheated because Douglas Adams didn't use this poem as "the very worst poetry of all." Poor Paula, so misunderstood all these years. Vogons Rock!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on 26 Sep 2010 - 21:49 Permalink

Yes, the poetry is bad, but look at the lovely typography of the folio! The vivid orange floral decoration is SO pretty!