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Rudyard Kipling

The White Man’s Burden

TAKE up the White Man's burden —
Send forth the best ye breed —
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness
On fluttered folk and wild —
Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.
Take up the White Man's burden —
In patience to abide
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain,
To seek another's profit,
And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden —
The savage wars of peace —
Fill full the mouth of famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden —
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper —
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go make them with your living,
And mark them with your dead!

Take up the White Man's burden —
And reap his old reward,
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard —
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah slowly !) towards the light:—
"Why brought ye us from bondage,
"Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden —
Ye dare not stoop to less —
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloak your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent sullen peoples
Shall weigh your Gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden —
Have done with childish days —
The lightly proffered laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years,
Cold-edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgement of your peers.

About the poet
Rudyard Kipling
 
By the same poet
If—
The Ballad of East and West
The Ballad of Fisher’s Boarding-House
Gunga Din
Mandalay
The Gods of the Copybook Headings
The Glory of the Garden
My Boy Jack
Gethsemane
The Thousandth Man
Recessional
The Fabulists
Gertrude’s Prayer
Harp Song of the Dane Women
Dane-Geld
 
Related books
Rudyard Kipling at amazon.co.uk


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