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Written by: Rudyard Kipling | Biography
 | Quotes (67) |
 To the City of Bombay

The Cities are full of pride,
 Challenging each to each --
This from her mountain-side,
 That from her burthened beach.

They count their ships full tale --
 Their corn and oil and wine,
Derrick and loom and bale,
 And rampart's gun-flecked line;
City by City they hail:
 "Hast aught to match with mine?"

And the men that breed from them
 They traffic up and down,
But cling to their cities' hem
 As a child to their mother's gown.

When they talk with the stranger bands,
 Dazed and newly alone;
When they walk in the stranger lands,
 By roaring streets unknown;
Blessing her where she stands
 For strength above their own.

(On high to hold her fame
 That stands all fame beyond,
By oath to back the same,
 Most faithful-foolish-fond;
Making her mere-breathed name
 Their bond upon their bond.)

So thank I God my birth
 Fell not in isles aside --
Waste headlands of the earth,
 Or warring tribes untried --
But that she lent me worth
 And gave me right to pride.

Surely in toil or fray
 Under an alien sky,
Comfort it is to say:
 "Of no mean city am I!"

(Neither by service nor fee
 Come I to mine estate --
Mother of Cities to me,
 For I was born in her gate,
Between the palms and the sea,
 Where the world-end steamers wait.)

Now for this debt I owe,
 And for her far-borne cheer
Must I make haste and go
 With tribute to her pier.

And she shall touch and remit
 After the use of kings
(Orderly, ancient, fit)
 My deep-sea plunderings,
And purchase in all lands.
 And this we do for a sign
Her power is over mine,
 And mine I hold at her hands!