"If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And -- which is more -- you’ll be a Man, my son!"
(Rudyard Kipling, "If...")
A Fine and Large Silver Quaich, c1912-15
"By descent through the Kipling family"
engraved beneath the rim with the last verse from
Rudyard Kipling's 1911 poem "Big Steamers"
regarding the much needed transit of large merchant ships
during the early years of World War I .
According to the family, this bowl was commissioned by Rudyard Kipling
as a gift to his only son John, who was killed shortly thereafter,
in September 1915, serving in the Royal Army at the Battle of Loos...
only six weeks after his eighteenth birthday.
Such was a father's passion for his son that Kipling conducted a "harrowing 4-year search",
with lingering hopes of finding young John yet alive.
There was no definitive resolution.
TO FORTITUDE :
"If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them : 'Hold on!'"