(notes by Philip Holberton
'The Dreamer whose dream came true!'The poem in the context of Kim
Listen to a true thing. When our gracious Lord, being as yet a youth, sought a mate, men said, in His father’s court, that he was too tender for marriage. So they made the triple trial of strength against all comers. And at the test of the Bow, our Lord called for such a bow as none might bend. And, overshooting all other marks, the arrow passed far and far beyond sight. At the last it fell; and where it touched earth, there broke out a stream, which presently became a River, whose nature, by our Lord’s beneficence, is that whoso bathes in it washes away all taint and speckle of sin.Throughout the tale, the lama follows his dream and searches for the River of the Arrow. It is revealed to him in a vision. On the last page he tells Kim, his chela, his disciple, his beloved:
We know He drew the bow! We know the arrow fell! We know the stream gushed! Where, then, is the River? My dream told me to find it.
So thus the Search is ended. The River of the Arrow is here. I have found it. Son of my Soul, I have wrenched my Soul back from the Threshold of Freedom to free thee from all sin – as I myself am free and sinless.The lama is the Dreamer whose dream came true.
He crossed his hands on his lap and smiled, as a man may who has won Salvation for himself and his beloved.
"I ha' harpit a shadow out o' the sunIn these lines Kipling was echoing Arthur O'Shaughnessy's Ode of 1874:
"To stand before your face and cry;
"I ha' armed the earth beneath your heel,
"And over your head I ha' dusked the sky.
"I ha' harpit ye up to the Throne o' God,
"I ha' harpit your midmost soul in three.
"I ha' harpit ye down to the Hinges o' Hell,
"And-ye-would-make-a Knight o' me!"
We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.