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Dayspring Mishandled

[words Rudyard Kipling, music Peter Bellamy; notes on Gertrude’s Prayer at the Kipling Society]

Dayspring Mishandled is a story by Rudyard Kipling from his book Limits and Renewals. The accompanying song Gertrude’s Prayer was sung by Peter and Antheas Bellamy and Chris Birch with the story’s title, Dayspring Mishandled on Bellamy’s fourth album of songs set to Kipling’s poems, Keep on Kipling. He noted:

Dayspring Mishandled (or Gertrude’s Prayer) is a modernisation of the “Chaucer” poem on which an elaborate hoax, the core of the story of the same title, is based.


Dayspring Mishandled

That which is marred at birth Time shall not mend,
Nor water out of bitter well make clean;
All evil thing returneth at the end,
Or elseway walketh in our blood unseen.
Whereby the more is sorrow in certaine—
Dayspring mishandled cometh not againe.

To-bruized be that slender, sterting spray
Out of the oake’s rind that should betide
A branch of girt and goodliness, straightway
Her spring is turned on herself, and wried
And knotted like some gall or veiney wen.—
Dayspring mishandled cometh not againe.

Noontide repayeth never morning-bliss—
Sith noon to morn is incomparable;
And, so it be our dawning goth amiss,
None other after-hour serveth well.
Ah! Jesu-Moder, pitie my oe paine—
Dayspring mishandled cometh not againe!